Managing your mental health during the holidays

Managing your mental health during the holidays
Posted at 9:54 PM, Dec 23, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — What is supposed to be the most wonderful time of year may not be so wonderful for everyone.

“We always see an increase around usually after Halloween all the way through the end of the year,” said CEO of TN Voices, Rikki Harris. She typically sees an increase in mental health emergency room visits around the holidays.

“So lack of time, financial stress at this time of year, gift giving- just making sure you’ve got everybody covered, family gatherings aren’t always easy for everyone,” said Harris.

Another added stress to what’s already a stressful time is COVID. “This is the second holiday season with COVID still living with us and navigating all of that- what’s safe, what’s not safe, who’s vaccinated, who’s not vaccinated, is this the right time to all get back together or should we wait?”

Those struggling with their mental health could show signs like behavior changes, mood swings, withdrawing from others, and even substance abuse.

Even those who've never struggled mentally, may experience languishing. "That languishing literally is being defined as being stuck in an unpleasant situation for a prolonged period of time. So it’s the opposite of flourishing," said Harris. "You just feel kind of stuck and not moving forward.”

If you suspect a loved one is struggling, Harris suggests reaching out and opening lines of communication.

Most importantly, she said take some time alone to be with your loved ones. "I think Christmas day, just for an hour or two, is just the perfect time for the family to appreciate what we’ve gone through and spend some quality time together for Christmas day.”

You can find more information about TN Voices here, and other helpful links below:

Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line: Available 24 hours a day/365 days a year is a free resource for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. All calls are routed to a trained crisis counselor in your area, who will provide you support and guidance and work to connect you with appropriate community supports. Call 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471) or text "TN" to 741-741.

ResilienTN: ResilienTN is an initiative that works to prevent the loss of life to overdose and suicide by empowering Tennesseans with the tools and knowledge to overcome their personal challenges and watch out for and help those around them. The campaign includes training in overdose reversal and suicide prevention; events focused on addiction recovery efforts on college campuses, and suicide prevention among people living with substance use.

Tennessee REDLINE: TheTennessee REDLINE offers a convenient and confidential 24/7/365 resource for substance misuse treatment referrals. The service is provided by the Tennessee Association for Alcohol, Drug and other Addiction Services (TAADAS) through a contract with the TDMHSAS. Referrals are available by phone call or text at 800-889-9789.