Mental health expert offers tips for dealing with holiday stress

(KNSI) – The holidays can be a stressful time of year whether you’re a host, going somewhere, or spending time alone. Medical experts say anxiety and depression are common in people for several reasons; most important, these are unrealistic expectations.

Dr. Steven Loos of the Central Minnesota Mental Health Center says the Christmas Vacation movie comes to mind when it comes to vacation stress.

“There’s just this awesome scene where Ellen Griswold and Clark Rosewall say, ‘You know, I don’t think the holidays can be what you have in mind. And I think it’s a perfect scene to represent what we all struggle with with any vacation, we build them to such a height that it’s almost impossible for our reality to live up to those expectations and then we are disappointed.

A lot can go wrong, from what’s served for dinner to how the business will get along. Dr Loos says that over-planning and having too high expectations can make a vacation uncomfortable.

“Then all of a sudden it didn’t reach that perfection and so we’re upset instead of just cherishing the times we have in some of the excitement that can come from a vacation. “

He says if you’re having people over for Christmas or going somewhere, discuss it with your family ahead of time.

“Let’s just make sure we greet with kindness today and if things don’t go exactly the way we want them to, that’s okay and if you lead to someone who is gracious enough to open their house to you. , how do you even talk with the kids about how we can be grateful.

He says it’s okay to choose meals and traditions based on who is present and the ages of the guests. He says those who spend the holidays alone are particularly suspected of depression.

If you are struggling with a mental illness and would like to talk to someone, you can call CMMHC at 320-252-5010 or find them online. If you need immediate help, you can call the 24-hour crisis hotline at 320-253-5555.


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