The Holidays Can Be a Really Tough Time—These Mental Health Tips Will Help

While we'd like to believe the holidays are all candy canes, good food, and snowflakes, that's not always the case. It'd be ignorant for us to assume this time of year isn't difficult in more aspects than one for a huge amount of people. Seeing family brings up a lot of issues, of course, whether that's fighting, strained relationships, or recent breakups. Couple that with alcohol and you've got a recipe for possible disaster—especially when you suffer from depression and anxiety. While feelings of stress and sadness can happen to anyone (we'll get into more intricate differences below), it's important to learn how best to cope and when to seek professional help.

Carrie Carlton, the clinical director at Beachway Therapy Center, says, "Those who are alcoholics, addicts, or already suffer from mood disorders are more likely than those who don't fit these categories to suffer from holiday stress or anxiety." Through her work with Beachway Therapy, an in-patient rehab, Carlton sees an uptick in clients who check in over the holidays for treatment. Below, find ways to better understand how you're feeling, why you're feeling it, and the best ways to cope.