FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The holidays can be a joyous time for some, while for others, it can also bring up difficult emotions.
Licensed Professional Counselor Kati Wells said all emotions are valid.
“It’s really important not to judge that or not to have an expectation of how you should feel,” Wells said.
Wells said to help cope with feelings of sadness or loneliness, she recommends sticking to your routines.
“Sometimes the holidays can bring food, drinks, things like that, that get us off track of our norm and if our body is not feeling well, typically that will affect our mental health as well,” Wells said.
Chief Clinical Officer with Eason Counseling & Associates, Emily Brandt, said it’s important to check on your loved ones this holiday season. She recommends being intentional and genuine when asking how they’re doing.
“Be honest about what you’re seeing and that you’re feeling worried or concerned and then asking them what they need right now,” Brandt said.
Wells said being specific when offering help, like bringing a meal, can allow the other person to agree to that assistance. She said the winter months with more darkness can also be challenging.
“Being aware of those things, that those things can affect you and having some sort of alternative for yourself, whatever works for you in terms of what you can do to lift your mood,” Wells said.
To fight the winter blues, Brandt encourages people to get some fresh air, be intentional with how they’re spending their time and do a daily body scan.
“How’s my body feeling, is my heart racing, are my eyes feeling heavy? Am I feeling tired? Am I feeling like I need nutritious food? So, your body’s always giving you messages about what it needs,” Brandt said.
If you or someone you know is in mental health crisis, you can call or text 988.