Omaha behavioral health specialist shares advice on dealing with holiday stress

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – From decorating to family gatherings, the holidays can be a time of joy for many, but they can be filled with stress, sadness or even loneliness for others.

Dr. Natalie Jensen of the Men’s City Center for Behavioral Health is seeing more of her patients making appointments this year.

“I think if they’ve already identified a predisposition to depressive symptoms, they can be magnified,” Jensen said. “Honestly I think the biggest thing I see is people putting a lot of pressure on themselves to feel a certain way, and then there’s a lot of self-judgment if they don’t feel that way.”

Many people can feel overwhelmed by the stress of buying gifts or hosting a family gathering if their budget is tight.

Also Read :  Stress from everyday political news can negatively affect people's mental health and well-being

“I think there may be less energy, more weight, less tolerance for daily worries, everything is difficult, sometimes a tendency to withdraw from others, feeling some kind of loneliness or isolation.”

Dr. Jensen says it’s okay to acknowledge those feelings.

“Then I think it might be more helpful to respond than to react. So, thinking about what I’m feeling and maybe what steps I can take can help nurture or address this feeling. Sometimes if we don’t respond to our emotions and we do, that’s when we act in an unhealthy way. We lash out at a partner, we cry in the bathroom, it’s all okay. But I think trying to be more friendly and responsive would go a long way.

If you have lost a loved one, this time can be especially difficult.

Also Read :  An acupuncturist and pain expert shares the 2 pressure points she uses to 'quickly relieve headaches'

“Do what you can to help maintain a tradition with someone you love. For others, doing something different, creating a new tradition can be beneficial.

Dr. Jensen also recommends finding a support group to help.

Take time for yourself and focus on what you are doing could control.

“If we experience a loss or we experience financial stress, a lot of that is out of our control. If you can find your locus of control and focus on what you can control, it can be helpful. So maybe if it’s spending time with your family, if that’s a priority for you, then it means you’re saying no to other invitations so you can focus on that quality family time. Sometimes it’s ‘I can’t afford a very expensive gift’, but I can buy something I feel close to and give it to someone I like.

Also Read :  Halsey Turns Stunning iHeart Festival Performance Into Their Birthday Party

If you’re struggling with the holiday blues and those feelings linger well into the new year, you can reach out to the Boys Town hotline. Experts are available 24/7 by phone or text.

“I like the idea of ​​radical acceptance, this idea of ​​accepting what we can’t change. It doesn’t mean we’re happy with them or okay with it, but there’s something about acknowledging it and really making room for it that I think is important,” Jensen says.

Boys Town also offers the Holiday Helps ebook.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.