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My Mental Health + 2020 + this Holiday Season = Crisis

KD Holmes, LPC

So in addition to holiday stress, some of us can add in our own internal struggles that don’t stop simply because it’s the holidays or a Zombie Apocalypse.

Imagine you have an internal stress bucket that is already have full from the stress of 2020, then add in more stress from the holidays, and more stress because of your own mental health. This is a recipe for your stress bucket to overflow this holiday season.  

Internal Struggles Exasperated by Zombie Apocalyptic (2020) Holidays:

 

Depression

Be Kind to Yourself!

It is already quite bleak during a zombie apocalypse and then throw in the holidays and it is even more bleak.  Where will I celebrate?  Will I be alone, isolated, or have the energy and motivation to pull off a celebration when it feels pointless? 

Depression makes daily tasks difficult, not to mention, the added tension of Zombie Apocalyptic holiday prep and execution where everything feels a little more complicated. 

Anxiety 

Distract from Anxious thoughts by being Mindful of your Present Moment!

Anyone with anxiety is probably worrying about safety, finances, meal preparations, clothing, and house cleaning.  Anxiety can latch onto anything important to you and when a Zombie Apocalypse happens there is even more to worry about.  Your usual worries exist as is and now there is an added layer of apocalyptic worries, followed now by holiday worries.  

Crazy/Dysfunctional Family

Plan for These Interactions!

I am not referring to the fun, “crazy” ones that make you laugh.  The fun ones are who I sit with at the dinner table, because they are such a joy to be around. 

Here I am talking about the emotionally unstable, angry, explosive, often judgmental family members who constantly remind you of where you have fallen short.  Don’t expect a sudden understanding of your situation because it’s a Zombie Apocalypse, expect full negative form.  This way you can prepare for their behaviors. 

Loss 

Engage in Meaningful Activities!

The Death of loved ones is tough to move through when holidays are a reminder of who we have lost, and how much of a hole they have left in our lives.  My father would have been perfect for a zombie apocalypse holiday because he could hunt anything, and he loved "living" at the camp.  I’m sure that he would have said that the camp is a perfect getaway, during these times.    

Internal and External Expectations 

Keep Expectations in Check!

Expectations can suck the joy out of any event. When you are trying to make the best of a not so perfect zombie apocalypse, holiday expectations really have a way of clouding the event.

Illness or Unforeseen Circumstances 

Focus on the Present Moment! (These Circumstances can be addressed before or after the holidays.)

Basically, life is not how we planned or imagined it to be this year.  Outside of our homes there is a Zombie Apocalypse taking place and how were we to know such an event could and would happen? But it did and it is happening still.  But there are other circumstances that may be getting in your way this holiday season like illness, car breaking down, home repairs, children failing school, and children at home this school year.

Balking at New Holiday Traditions 

Be sure to Try New Traditions

Lots of families are not doing their normal holiday traditions this year which creates grief, loneliness, sadness, isolation, and the blahs that can be hard to move through.

Social Anxiety + 2020

Engage in as many social activities as you can!

The holidays become a reminder of what some people do not have socially, but desire to have.  Especially during this Zombie Apocalypse Holiday. 

Trauma History

Plan for an Increase in Symptoms!

If you have a trauma history, this year is bound to increase your symptoms. This year has been one trauma after another. And a Trauma history fills a stress bucket quicker than any thing else. So expect an increase in symptoms due to this stress overload.

Remember Lower Your Expectations, Try New Things, and Ask for Help:

These internal symptoms are difficult enough without the added stress of the holidays and certainly have the potential for an increase during a Zombie Apocalypse.  

depression, anxiety, Trauma, Therapy and COVID-19, Support and Crisis, COVID-19, Holiday Stress, Counselor Lafayette, La, Therapist Lafayette, La