The holiday season can be a time of joy and celebration, but it can also be a stressful time for many people. The American Psychological Association reports that nearly 90% of Americans experience some form of stress during the holidays.
For people with disabilities, the holiday season can be even more stressful.
They may face additional challenges, such as:
- Financial difficulties: The cost of holiday gifts, food, and travel can be a burden for people with disabilities, who often live on fixed incomes.
- Transportation challenges: People with disabilities may have difficulty getting around to holiday events and gatherings.
- Social isolation: People with disabilities may feel isolated from their friends and family during the holidays, especially if they are unable to participate in traditional activities.
- Mental health challenges: The holiday season can be a difficult time for people with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
If you are experiencing the holiday blues, there are things you can do to cope:
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly.
- Accept your needs. Be kind to yourself! Put your own mental and physical well-being first. Recognize what your triggers are to help you prepare for stressful situations.
- Set realistic expectations. Don’t try to do too much or be everything to everyone.
- Say no to commitments that you don’t have time for or that will cause you stress.
- Set boundaries. Family dynamics can be complex. Acknowledge them and accept that you can only control your role. If you need to, find ways to limit your exposure.
- Make time for activities that you enjoy. Spend time with loved ones, do things that relax you, and make sure to have some fun.
If you are struggling to cope with the holiday blues, please reach out for help. There are many resources available, including:
- 211 Brevard | 211 Palm Beach & Treasure Coast (Indian River): Dial 211. A free and confidential service that can connect you with local resources, such as food banks, shelters, and mental health services.
- 988: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call or text 988 to speak to a trained counselor.
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor.
In Brevard County, FL, there are also a number of resources available to help people with disabilities manage the holiday blues. Resource Center for Disability Solutions offers a variety of programs and services, including:
- Peer Support Groups: These groups provide a safe and supportive space for people with disabilities to connect with others who share similar experiences and challenges.
- Information & Referral: our Independent Living Specialists can help you access the resources and services you need to manage your disability and live a fulfilling life.
While the holiday season can be stressful, it’s important to remember that it can also be a time of great joy and connection. Nearly seven in 10 Americans agree that the stress surrounding the holidays is worth it, and 84% said the holiday season creates a sense of togetherness.
Remember, you are not alone. Millions of people experience the holiday blues every year. There are resources available to help you cope. Please reach out for help if you need it.