TAMPA, Fla. - The holidays or not always a happy and festive time for everyone. Many people experience seasonal depression, especially around Christmas. If you’re not feeling as merry and bright this holiday season, you’re not alone. 2020 has been a wild ride, leaving a lot of folks just barely hanging on.
"COVID-19, the social unrest, the political unrest, the crazy weather we've had this year, all of that together has created this sense of 'I'm overwhelmed, and I don't know how to not be overwhelmed,’” said Clara Reynolds with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
With all the stress and uncertainty surrounding this year, holiday cheer just might not be enough.
"Individuals are calling us right now looking for help towards the holidays, they're dealing with increased anxiety,” said Reynolds.
Depression and anxiety are common symptoms of the ‘holiday blues,’ a reality for many every year. But with the added stress of being away from loved ones and forgoing holiday traditions due to the pandemic, more people are struggling to cope.
"Individuals who may never have felt this case of the blues or this case of the ‘holiday blahs’ may be feeling this for the very first time,” said Reynolds. “I want to say is that's completely normal and it is okay."
As the promise of a new year rounds the corner, it’s important to appreciate the little things, find new ways to celebrate and take time for yourself.
"Make a plan now, how are you going to pamper yourself, how are you going to prepare for this pampering? Because that's the best thing we can do is take care of ourselves, and then by extension, take care of others,” explained Reynolds.
If you need to talk to someone, don’t be afraid to reach out. Chances are you’re not the only one ready to leave the stress of 2020 in the past.
“It is okay to not be okay right now because all of us are experiencing this and trying to cope in our own way,” said Reynolds.
If you’re feeling depressed, anxious or just need to talk, the crisis center of Tampa Bay is available to take your call anytime. All you need to do is dial 2-1-1.
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