Mental Health + the Holidays

Mental Health + the Holidays

It's officially the holiday season, with Thanksgiving only a day away! When Eden BodyWorks reached out to me to write a piece on mental health and the holidays, I jumped at the opportunity. 

A little background, I have a Master of Arts in Counseling; Marriage and Family Therapy to be exact. I’ve worked in the Mental Health field for going on six years. I currently work as a school-based therapist with kids ages 5-17 who struggle with a host of mental health concerns such as Anxiety, ASD, ADHD, and Depression to name a few. I also have some experience working with Adults who struggle with SPMI (Serious and Persistent Mental Illness).

Holidays as most of you know can bring so much joy into our lives; it's a time to celebrate traditions, connect with family, friends and loved ones. Holidays, can also be a time of immense stress for others.  It can come with huge financial expectations or obligations; some people face loss of a job, loss of loved ones, anniversary of the death of a loved one, end of relationships, struggles with addiction, single and feeling pressured as to why you're not married yet; feelings of sadness and grief can take a toll on your mental state. These are just to name a few things that can really trigger or increase stress during the holidays and or lead to feelings of depression. Not to mention, if you have a mental health diagnosis, these situations can also exacerbate your symptoms.

While there's no empirical research that indicate suicides happen more often during the holidays, suicides do tend to happen during this time of year. I understand it's not something we may think about often, I want to encourage you  to reach out to friends and family and check in. Social media has a way of making it seem that you know what's going on with someone. As you know, things aren't always what they seem, especially on social media.
Today, I'm going to share a few tips on how to minimize stress this holiday season.

1) Be aware of your mindset. The power of positive thinking goes a long way. This is something I myself am still working on. It's a process, so don't be so hard on yourself.  Master your mind, master your life, they say.

2) Acknowledge your situation. If things aren't going the way you'd like, don't pretend your situation isn't happening by sweeping it under the rug. I currently tell my kids in therapy, if you hide a pizza box under your bed from mom, is the pizza box gone or just hidden?  You can't address what you ignore. Acknowledging your situation will help you adequately address your situation.

3) Utilize your tribe. Whether you have one person or three people in your life who are supportive, lean on them for support. If you don't have any supports; I strongly encourage you to start cultivating relationships, so that support is available to you not just in a crisis. The worst time to create crisis support is during a crisis.

4) Take some time for YOU. Whatever that looks like.  I almost feel like the word "self-care" has become a trend. Whatever is refreshing for your soul, do that. It doesn't have to mean shopping, getting your nails done or going to the spa, not that those things can't be self-care.  Turning your phone off for a few hours, not saying yes when you really want to say no. You cannot give to anyone what you don't have. Make sure you're not running on empty and trying to pour into everyone else.

5. Avoid toxic people and relationships.  While you may not be able to escape certain  family  members gatherings that might trigger stress for you; you can avoid certain conversations which will in turn be less stressful for you.

6. Know your limits, and don't over commit. Overextending yourself is a sure way to induce stress.  

7. ASK for help. There's SO much strength in recognizing when you need help and asking for help. I know at times it can seem daunting to ask, but doing so you find that people are more willing to lend a hand than you'd think.
A few resources:
Apps to utilize -
Relax Lite
NAMI- National Association of Mental Illness (
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (
Crisis Textline (Text HOME to 741741)

Most cities or counties offer free or sliding scale therapy services
Psychology Today is a great resource to locate a therapist in your area. Don't forget to utilize your insurance provider to obtain lists on in- network providers to ensure services will be covered. 

I welcome you to email me to further the conversation at Please visit my blog at You can find me everywhere on social @styleoptimist.
Happy Holidays from Jewel + the EDEN team
See you back here next week!


Yongor Dadzie
Yongor Dadzie

Good topic for the holiday season. Not something that is really discussed during this time of the season. It’s a good way to get the discussion started.


Love this thanks for doing this love! Great information

Tulee massaquoi
Tulee massaquoi

Thanks Jewel for this!!! It’s very inspiring and educational. Happy holidays?

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