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Loneliness and Covid During the Holidays

Loneliness and Covid During the Holidays


The holidays are here and Covid-19 is still running rampant in our communities. We were already dealing with the same list of hardships ticked off in earlier blogs, and one of the most profound challenges during this pandemic has been the isolation caused by social distancing.


One might think that the holidays are what we need: classic favorites playing in the (home) theater, spending time with (immediate) loved ones, exchanging (online) gifts. But people living alone during these uncertain times may fall victim to depression.


Some outlets reported loneliness was a problem long before Covi but the outbreak has deepened the issue.


Every year around the holidays depression and stress levels spike. One of the biggest reasons for this is social isolation. Some with a small social circle or out-of-town loved ones are hit two-fold as their world becomes even tighter with social distancing.


Experts warn that while the impact on mental health is hard to pin down there will almost certainly be repercussions.


With SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) this depression may become a severe problem. SAD occurs when depression is triggered by a change in seasons. Usually, this is associated with the holidays. Once triggered SAD looks like general depression including a loss of interest, sleep disturbance, lethargy, and other debilitating symptoms.


Grief may be another reason for loneliness this year. Any time a loved one passes away, special events once shared may become a sad affair. With countless people lost to Covid and various other reasons, a socially distanced holiday does not help with easing grief.


What if you find yourself in this tragic situation? What if the holidays are here and it plunges you into a sea of despair?


Dr. Bregman has a few tips to help you enjoy life when it seems almost impossible.



CONNECT HOW YOU CAN: Sure we can’t all hang out around a fire sipping eggnog and embracing one another. But that’s ok! Thanks to modern technology we can hold video chats to speak face to face with family and friends. We can even watch movies together at the same time online and crack jokes as usual through apps like Zoom and Whatsapp.


START SOMETHING NEW: If the old holiday traditions get you down, why not use this opportunity to do something fresh? The circumstances are unprecedented this year. So why not start some unprecedented winter activities? How about a peaceful walk outside or starting a hobby you are passionate about? Learn a new language, check out a new album you’ve been meaning to listen to, or maybe just treat yourself? Holiday treats can be quite tasty…


DON’T GET PRESSURED: But no matter how tasty the treats are, don’t let someone pressure you into doing something you don’t want to. The holidays are supposed to be for fun and joy - not being forced to spend time with toxic people or triggering activities. Don’t feel shy about turning down an invitation (with Covid you have the perfect excuse!) or not staying up late with other revelers.


SHARE: It has been proven that talking about our problems helps us cope with them. By consulting with a trusted loved one or doctor, we can recognize the cause of our suffering. Then we can draw on others’ viewpoints and solutions that we may not have thought of ourselves.


Loneliness during the holidays is a hard issue to face, and sometimes a simple article is not enough to help. If you or someone you know needs help please don’t hesitate to reach out. Mental health is just as important as physical health and there is a path out of suffering. Bregman Medical Group offers online treatment to your device, simply schedule an appointment at www.bregmanmd.com/appointment or call 305-740-3340



References:



https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544


https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/holidays


https://abc7news.com/mental-health-covid-coronavirus-holidays-holiday-stress/7369543/


https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/11/09/how-to-cope-with-extra-stress-during-2020-holiday-season/6227223002/


https://namica.org/blog/handling-stress-during-the-holiday-season/



By BregmanMD | December 24, 2020 | Mental Health

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