JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - While Christmas is a joyous and happy time for many people, for some it is not. But there are ways to cope with holiday sadness and stress during a pandemic.
“The holidays can be a real difficult time for people during an average year, not to mention a year we have experienced a health pandemic like we have in 2020.”
Molly Taylor is with the State Department of Mental Health.
She says if you are experiencing feelings of depression, grief, anxiety, and isolation during this holiday season it’s important to know you are not alone and you will get through this tough time.
“What’s important is taking care of ourselves, both physically and mentally, and doing the things that feel good and feel right and not putting too many expectations during the holiday season.”
There are several ways to help you beat the holiday blues and take care of yourself.
“Go for a walk and reach out to close friends. I know we are not able to gather this year like we usually do, but there are still ways to talk. You can reach out to friends or reach out to an old friend or family member that you don’t see,” said Taylor.
Adriane Dorsey-Kidd agrees. She is the City of Jackson’s Director of Human and Cultural Services.
“We recommend zoom lunches and dinners if they can do that, we recommend FaceTime over the phone, just any kind of creative ways,” said Kidd.
She points out that the city of Jackson launched a mental health line back when the pandemic started to help residents cope and the calls are increasing. People can talk to a team of pastors and therapists about how they feel.
“People are really by themselves and we see the increase in substance abuse, there is an increase in suicide, people who never had episodes of depression before are exhibiting signs. So, we are the people who talk to them in the daytime when they need someone to listen” said Kidd.
MSDH recently launched the “Behind the Mask Mississippi” to help those struggling during this pandemic.
For more information about the program: www.behindthemaskms.com
Jackson Mental Health Warm Line: 601-586-307