Managing Holiday Stress during Covid-19

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – With the holidays in full swing, the added pressure of planning, shopping, traveling, social obligations, and covid-19 restrictions can add even more stress to those who have an underlying mental health condition. 

“ You don’t have to fight this alone. I think one of the biggest problems we have is that we get so self-conscious and that we are afraid of the shame or guilt about having some type of physiological problem or being depressed. I think many times it’s so important that we get rid of that stigma,” says Dr. Kevin U. Stephens Sr., Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealthcare. 

According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, “Americans are struggling with the basic decisions required to navigate daily life as the effects of pandemic-related stress continue to take a toll.”

“We have had over several hundred thousand Americans die as a result of covid-19. Then the holidays you are with your parents and friends and you miss the loved ones who have transitioned on. So when you put all this stuff together then you have a basket filled with anxiety and depression,” says Dr. Stephnes Sr. 

 Experts say with inflation forcing prices to skyrocket, money will be one of the main stressors for most this holiday season. 

 “I think rather than having three to four gifts, just get one gift. You don’t have to go all out. Of course, use cash, don’t depend on your credit. If you don’t have the cash don’t get it. It’s better to save now than start off the new year in debt. Lastly, plan your finances and get a budget. Sometimes I think the best gift is just yourself and your presence,” says Dr. Stephens Sr. 

Though this season is about giving and rejoicing it’s always important to remember to put your mental health first and reach out if you or a loved one needs help. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.
Categories: Chattanooga, COVID-19, Featured, Hamilton County, Health, Local News