"For many, having close friends or family is a key aspect of finding peace and happiness, but for others relationships can create stress," continued Dr. Woody. "For those individuals, the expectations, excitement and joy during the festive season can add pressure and anxiety that can be compounded by feelings of loneliness, isolation, or missing loved ones."Keeping the holiday season festive As the festive season approaches, Woody offers a few simple tips to help practice self-care to successfully surmount feeling of stress, sadness or depression during the season: 1. Take Inventory. Acknowledge your feelings and realize it's okay to express them. The holiday season doesn't automatically do away with feelings of sadness. That's why it is important to devote quality time for yourself to step back and take stock of how you feel. 2. Stay Active. Keep your mind and body moving. Physical activity in any form can improve your sense of well-being and overall health. Activities like painting, sculpting, drawing, and photography are relaxing and rewarding hobbies that stimulate your mind and body. 3. Try Something New. The holidays can be a reminder of painful memories of our past. While it's important to reflect, celebrate today by incorporating a new tradition in your holiday plans this season. 4. Share and Take Care. It's okay to delegate and ask for help. This can be a great way to reduce stress surrounding holiday planning and tasks. 5. Reach Out. Mental health professionals are trained to provide help for those in need. Speak up and don't try to handle your challenges alone. It's also equally as important to reach out to others who may be in need. Reluctance to seek treatment and barriers to counseling remain While almost half of U.S. adults (48 percent) say they would be likely to seek counseling for their friends and family around the festive time of year, only two-in-five (40 percent) would be likely to seek out counseling for themselves. Of the U.S. adults who have sought counseling, 42 percent have experienced barriers or obstacles to care.
Top barriers according to U.S. Adults:
- Financial limitations (68 percent)
- Uncertainty regarding effectiveness of counseling (32 percent)
- Access to health insurance coverage (32 percent)
- Social stigma (31 percent)
- Reluctance to face problems (29 percent)