The holidays are a time filled with joy and laughter for millions of people around the world. However, some people struggle during the holidays, and many of them also suffer with their mental health. The American Psychological Association found that 41% of people are more stressed during the holidays. The holidays can be hard for a lot of reasons, which makes taking care of your mental health during the holidays even more important. The best way to do this is by stepping up and becoming a mental health advocate for your self and those around you.
The Holidays Can Be a Tough Time for Those Struggling With Mental Health Issues
For those of us who struggle with mental health issues, the holidays can bring a lot of trauma up to the surface. Now, this may not be because we have specific holiday trauma, rather it is the feeling that we are separate from those that seemingly navigate the holidays free of any emotional or mental health struggles.
However, it is also true that some people do have specific holiday-related trauma. This may be due to specific incidents that happened during the holidays such as domestic abuse or neglect, or due to the place in our lives that we were at during the holidays, such as isolated away from family while in active addiction. Regardless of where the negative emotions surrounding the holidays arise, the help of a mental health advocate can be literally life-saving for someone struggling over the holidays.
How to Be a Mental Health Advocate Over the Holidays
Many people shy away from being a mental health advocate because they feel like they are either not qualified for the task or that being an advocate will take more time than they have to offer. This is simply not true. Yes, some people dedicate their entire lives to being mental health advocates. However, there are also steps that everyday people can take to be mental health advocates, especially over the holidays.
One way of being a mental health advocate for someone over the holidays is to simply reach out to a friend who may be struggling and ask how they’re doing. Many people with mental illness often isolate themselves from friends and family when they are struggling over the holidays. A simple phone call or text message will remind them that they are not alone.
Another way to be a mental health advocate for someone over the holidays is to be a safe and sober companion for someone during a holiday party or event. This is true even if the person is not specifically in recovery from addiction. Being sober just ensures that the individual has someone they can rely on to help them exit if they are feeling triggered or uncomfortable in a certain situation. It is also just one more way of letting someone know that they are loved during the holidays.
How to Be a Mental Health Advocate Over the Holidays for the Community at Large
It is also possible to be a mental health advocate for the broader community during the holidays. This may include volunteering at local recovery or community centers that need extra help, especially over the holidays.
Being a mental health advocate for the community over the holidays can also translate into being a mental health advocate all year round. This ensures those struggling with mental health during the holidays will have someone to go to each holiday, and every day in-between if they need it.
One of the ways to ensure this happens is to reach out to local representatives in government to also advocate for their constituents with mental illness. These are the people who can ensure that there is the proper funding and infrastructure in the community to make sure that everyone who needs mental health care gets mental health care.
The Phoenix Recovery Center: Supporting Mental Health Advocacy 24/7 365 Days a Year
Many people are familiar with and enjoy the Andy Williams holiday carol, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” The goal of being a mental health advocate over the holidays is to make sure that those around us get to experience that feeling of it being “the most wonderful time of the year” as well.
Here at The Phoenix Recovery Center, we understand the challenges that many people with mental illness face over the holidays. That is why we work diligently all year round to ensure that people are in a safe and secure space when the holidays come around. We also make sure that we are available 24/7 365 days a year, when any sobriety and recovery concerns come up.
No one with mental health issues should feel alone over the holidays. With a little bit of time and effort on all of our parts, no one ever has to.
If you feel like you or someone you know may be struggling with issues of mental illness, we can help. For more information on how to be an effective mental health advocate during the holidays, please reach out to The Phoenix Recovery Center today at (801) 438-3185.