How to keep an eye on your mental health this holiday season

This time of year can be hard for a lot of people when it comes to mental health. Often times, it's made worse through social media and now, the pandemic. 
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) –This time of year can be hard for a lot of people when it comes to mental health. Often times, it’s made worse through social media and now, the pandemic.

“This is, you know, exacerbated by the pandemic, but not new to the pandemic, that holidays are hard. When people think of holidays, they think of get-togethers with family. This maybe the first time without a parent or a sibling, is very hard,” Dr. Shannon Kinnan with Creighton Medical School, said.

It’s often referred to as the holiday blues. Mental health taking a big hit around Thanksgiving and Christmas, especially for those who may have lost a loved one in the past two years during the pandemic.

“As a society, we’ve experienced more loss, you know. Just more changes in society with individual’s losing individuals to death, losing our jobs, just more adjustments, more changes that we’ve had to make. This time of year, we’re still you know, grieving some of those changes and grieving some of those losses,” Dr. Dave Miers, the Director of Behavioral Health at Bryan Medical Center, said.

Both doctors say on top of that, social media has played a big role in people’s mental health.

“Social media oftentimes is that you use social media, to highlight your highlights of your life. You know, the things that are going well in your life.” Dr. Miers said, “Very few times that people go and put things that are not going well in their life.”

Dr. Miers says the best thing you can do if you find yourself in this situation, is limit your screen time. If you’re having a hard day already, maybe don’t check Instagram or Facebook unless absolutely necessary.

The same sentiment is shared by Dr. Kinnan, she even suggest tweaking your notifications.

Ii think one of the first thing is to notice, to be a little more conscious about it. If you notice a certain site or certain posts, you know, there’s probably ability to unfollow those things. So, really taking care of ourselves and being a little more conscience,” Dr. Kinnan said.

If you find yourself struggling more often than not, seek help. Two ways to do that is through talking with a doctor, which can be found at Bryan Health. Also, if you’re having thoughts of suicide, please call the prevention hotline at 800-273-8255.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health, Nebraska News, News