The holiday season 2020 landscape will challenge, more than in the previous years. The holidays typically see an increased presence of sadness or depression* and this year there is quite a bit more to contend with. Many have lost loved ones this past year and some were unable to be there when they passed. Compounding this is the personal fear of contracting a possibly deadly disease – COVID-19. Facing one’s own mortality is yet another stressor.
No surprise with the lockdowns that all abuses have dramatically increased globally. In the US, findings include an increase in child abuse risk. In UK one in five crimes during lockdown was domestic abuse-related. From FIFA to Pope Francis speaking out and with protests in France to Turkey, all calling for the elimination of violence in the home. Many have already reacted to increase stress by increasing their alcohol consumption. A recent study published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, correlated time in lockdown with the increase in harmful drinking.
All of us must take positive steps to maintain good mental health. Strain and tensions abound as eluded to above, but how we face them with support and a few self-steps can make a difference. If you have negative emotions process them. You come first, don’t ignore your needs to satisfy others. Avoid toxic and negative individuals. Especially with lockdowns and social distancing, don’t allow yourself to feel isolated. In this age of FaceTime, Whats App, and Zoom visits with all your besties, make a date to see each other.
Take stock of all and I know you’ll find positive and worthwhile aspects of your existence!
*Recall depression is not sadness it is prolonged (weeks) of feeling sad helpless, hopeless, irritable, and or guilty much of every day.