The holidays are a time of happiness and good cheer for many people, bringing friends and families together for celebrations throughout the season. Excitement and joy are at an all-time high as people reflect on their gratitude for the past year and look forward with hope for the year ahead.
At the same time, the holiday season can also be a source of stress that triggers symptoms related to mental health and/or substance abuse. People who live with these conditions may find that the holidays only exacerbate their struggles instead of bringing about good cheer. Getting into the holiday spirit can be an almost impossible task.
If you’re having a hard time, seeking treatment during the holidays can offer much-needed support. It might not seem like the ideal time of year, but finding the right program may be the best gift you can give yourself, especially as a fresh start going into the new year. The holidays can be a challenging time, but treatment will offer the supportive environment that you need to get your life back in order.
There are plenty of reasons why seeking treatment during the holidays is a good plan. Instead of forcing yourself to sit with the stress of the season, you can take a step back from the pressure and put yourself and your mental health first. Recognizing the risk that comes with the season and taking the steps to care for your needs this coming year will make all the difference.
Why are the holidays a good time for you to seek treatment?
1. You’re not the only one struggling during the holiday season
Living with mental health and/or substance abuse struggles is oftentimes an isolating experience. Withdrawing from friends and family is a common symptom. The more you isolate yourself, the more it may feel like you’re the only one dealing with symptoms.
In reality, the holidays are a hard time for millions of people. They’re difficult for people who have no preexisting mental health or substance abuse conditions, too. The U.S. News reports that 38% of Americans feel increased stress levels during this time of the year, according to a survey from the American Psychological Association.
That means they’re even more challenging to those with mental illness and/or addiction. A study from the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) shows that 64% of people with mental illness experience even worse symptoms during the holiday season. Additionally, seasonal depression (or seasonal affective disorder) affects about 5% of the U.S. population every year.
You’re not the only one who struggles during the holidays. Disruption to routine, stress, and uncertainty exacerbates symptoms. Seeking treatment during the holidays will provide you with the support and structure you need to make it through the season and start the new year off right.
2. The holidays can be filled with a variety of triggers
Routine is one of the best ways to manage day-to-day struggles, including your disorder and/or addiction. The more you can eliminate uncertainty, the easier one is more likely to find relief from these symptoms. Chaos and unpredictability can exacerbate symptoms and make it more difficult to keep things stable, leading to feeling out-of-control and resulting in a vicious cycle.
The holiday season can create a lot of disruption in your routine. There is often time off school/work, travel plans, or inviting friends and family into your home. It’s hard to feel settled when you’re not able to stick to your usual schedule. You’re also more likely to experience triggering situations during the holidays, such as spending time with difficult family members or going to gatherings with lots of noise and commotion. Additionally, holidays regularly involve alcohol which can lead to triggers or over-indulgences for many, especially those trying to stay sober.
It may be better to seek treatment during the holidays than place yourself in these difficult situations. Going to a place where you know you’ll be surrounded by structure and support is a healthier choice than leaving yourself open to stress and uncertainty.
3. Going to treatment will not hinder the holidays for others
You might find yourself thinking that the holidays aren’t the “right time” to go to treatment. It may seem like going will make the holidays harder for your loved ones. Truthfully, there’s never a perfect time to go to treatment. You can always find a reason to put off asking for help. There will always be some event, activity, or responsibility that you feel you can’t miss.
But seeking treatment during the holidays will provide your family with hope for your healing and more importantly give you the best gift you can have – recovery! You won’t put a damper on your family’s celebrations by doing what’s right for you and putting your wellness first. They may miss your presence during the season but knowing that you’re getting the help you need will make it easier to understand and probably be the answer to their holiday wishes.
4. Treatment is the best gift you can give yourself
Seeking treatment during the holidays is the best gift you could give to yourself and your loved ones. Asking for help can be a hard step to take but it will be one toward a solution and freedom from your mental health and/or substance use struggles. It can be the thing that gives you the relief you’ve been looking for over the years.
You don’t necessarily have to go to an inpatient program, either. Inpatient programs are full-time residential treatment services where you live at the facility for the course of your treatment program. Instead, sometimes finding an intensive outpatient program may be the perfect alternate solution to seeking treatment during the holidays.
Whichever program you decide on, seeking treatment is a gift to yourself that will keep on giving. You’ll feel more at ease and engaged with life after finding the program that’s right for you. You will be able to be more present with your family and friends. Such treatment provides the key to wellness that will help you find happiness and healing this holiday season and many in the future.
Looking for help this holiday season?
Trying to navigate the holidays while managing your mental health alone can be a risky thing to do. Reach out to a specialized mental health treatment facility instead. There’s nothing wrong with asking for some support to help you through this time of year. Seeking treatment this holiday season may be the best choice you can make.
At Lifeskills South Florida, we understand that it may be difficult to attend treatment during the holidays. You have friends and family at home who love you and eagerly await your return. If you’ll be with us during the holiday season, we take every opportunity to ensure you feel cared for and at home while you stay with us.
Lifeskills offers special activities and events to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the exciting parts of the holidays while still receiving the attention you need. We do our best to bring the holiday spirit, happiness and cheer into our facility so you can celebrate the season along with us.
Please reach out to us to learn more about the programs we offer at Lifeskills South Florida, as well as the ways we make our holidays here special. We’d love to answer any questions and help you find the program that’s the right fit for you. Give us a call or submit an online form today to speak with an admissions specialist!
A special message from our CEO:
“For nearly two years, our country has been impacted by a pandemic which has resulted in more people struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse related issues. This has been a catalyst for many reaching out to access the overdue help they have needed. Lifeskills South Florida is grateful to have been that resource for many in their time of need. As we enter the holiday season, it is oftentimes more stressful for those already battling such challenges, and we understand that families may want to keep their loved ones close. We are here as a trusted resource to support and guide you or your loved one through these times and get them on their path to recovery.” – Klay Weaver, LCSW