Mental health experts warn of holiday blues and isolation during pandemic

Posted at 4:24 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 22:07:12-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Celebrating during the holiday season will be a challenge this year as the country continues to fight COVID-19. And because of that, experts at Mental Health of America MidSouth says the effects of isolation and loneliness this holiday season will reach a peak.

"Sometimes the stress we impose it on ourselves because we set an expectation of having a Hallmark type of holiday," said Lynn Wood with Mental Health America MidSouth.

Wood says this holiday season will be harder than years before.

"We are going to see that, the holidays typically the holidays are a joy in time but it’s also stressful."

Wood says that stress could be even more of a threat because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why some people tell Newschannel 5 they are choosing to stay home.

Travelers say the chance of spreading the virus over Thanksgiving dinner is too big of a risk to take. While others say they're limiting their holiday gathering size and will be using their masks to stay safe.

Staying at home during the holidays can be hard no matter the year. But this year is tougher as many have lost loved ones, jobs and incomes because of the Coronavirus, making the Holiday Blues feel a little deeper this time around.

"Maybe this is the year you don’t celebrate, maybe this is too stressful, and too sad because it’s the first holiday without a loved one and now you have a holiday where you can’t be around anyone."

Wood says we can’t be afraid to put ourselves first this season if we need help. She also suggests resources on the Mental Health America MidSouth website for help.

Wood says there are things you can do on your own to help like talk therapy, journaling, meditation and even taking long walks.