Ph.D. and Clinical Psychologist, Elvira G. Aletta says that “Having a mental illness is the same as having any chronic illness.” That being said we need to give ourselves and our loved ones permission to make caring for this chronic illness top priority. Most of us would agree that health come first—and that includes mental health.
So how does having a mental illness impact coping with the holidays? Over the last few weeks we’ve talked about a lot practical ways prioritize our mental health, have healthy boundaries, and reduce our stress. But today I want to look at some helpful guidelines from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
They state that those with mental illness need:
Sometimes those things are lost during the holidays, but with some planning ahead you and your loved ones can maintain some special times while caring for one another. Communication is key. Share your desires and what makes the holidays meaningful and peaceful to you.
Depending on your unique situation you may want to consult your counselor to come up with a plan. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support during this time. People don’t know what you need unless you speak up and share.
Finally, I would encourage you to refer back to our series on crisis interventions. It’s important to have something in place should you need to reach out. Let’s remember to speak good things to ourselves and our loved ones. I love what it says in Isaiah 63:7…
I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us. Isaiah 63:7
How are you coping with mental illness during the holidays? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
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