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Strengthening Your Support Network During the Holiday Season

The holiday season can often bring additional stress to the minds of those who already experience day-to-day mental health struggles such as anxiety or depression. During this time, it’s more important than ever to lean on the company of those who are close to you and seek healthy coping strategies. Having a strong support network of individuals can make a world of difference throughout the holiday season and beyond.

Why is a Strong Support Network Vital?

Think of your support network as your own personal safety net: The people in it should always be there when you need a motivational boost and offer strength when times get rough.

Helps You Remain Accountable

One of the greatest assets of having a solid support system is the accountability it provides. If you plan on seeking help for depression or anxiety but aren’t following through, knowing your friend or support network would be there waiting makes it harder to abandon that commitment. Your support network serves as a 'reality check.' Accountability partners can remind you when it's time to pursue activities that are going to improve your mental health, or they can help keep you from engaging in harmful coping mechanisms. Accountability doesn't need to make you feel guilty; rather, it should help you maintain effective balance during a hectic holiday season and throughout the new year.

Holidays Can Often Amplify Feelings of Depression for Some

For some people, the holidays can amplify their feelings of depression. Depression and anxiety can be triggered by something as simple as seeing everyone's picture-perfect holiday posts on social media. Lonely people may feel left out when they see others spending lots of time with their friends and family, particularly if they lost a loved one recently. Whatever its source, seasonal depression is real and should never be pushed under the rug; your support network can be a saving grace, reminding you of love and warmth when things seem grim or challenging.

Being Cherished and Appreciated

For many during the holiday season, having a strong support network can be imperative to their mental health, as the individuals that make up the network provide them with understanding, comfort, and a feeling of being cared for. These people appreciate who you are as an individual and want nothing more than for you to feel valued and loved.

Staying Connected 

The holiday season is all about connection, and having a support network like friends and family as your lifeline to human interaction can also go a long way toward combatting feelings of loneliness or isolation. Being close with other people not only keeps loneliness at bay but can provide comfort when things become difficult. It’s important to keep your relationships strong throughout the highs and lows of the holiday season and beyond.

How Can You Strengthen Your Network This Holiday Season? 

While the holiday season may bring its share of varying emotions, it also presents an excellent opportunity to expand and strengthen your support network.

  • One wonderful way to strengthen your network is by reaching out to people you haven't talked to in some time. A handwritten holiday card is an old-school and charming way of reconnecting - it reminds people of you while also showing them you care about how they’re doing. Reaching out with this small gesture could reignite old friendships or strengthen support systems alike; maybe someone might respond with another card or phone call in return! During the season of giving, any little love can go a long way.
  • Take advantage of your holiday gatherings as an opportunity to open up and discuss any difficulties, if it feels right for you. Family and friends often gather around tables at holiday events, providing an ideal setting for such conversations. Sharing challenges with loved ones may relieve emotional strain and sharing can open doors of understanding. Talking about how you’ve been feeling isn't simply giving; it's accepting as well - unburden your worries this holiday season so others may give their gifts of comfort, care, and compassion in return.
  • If your spirits are low during this holiday season, it’s vital to rely on your support network for assistance, as we already mentioned; asking for help is a display of strength, not weakness. It’s also equally important to avoid alcohol consumption. Alcohol may seem like the perfect remedy, but its effects can actually magnify your emotions, often exacerbating feelings of sadness or anxiety. Drinking when you’re not feeling well might also open the door for other harmful situations to occur. Instead, seek help in finding healthier new alternatives in your journey to wellness.

The Importance of Retaining Your Support Network Beyond the Holidays

As we transition out of the holiday season and head into 2024, let us remember the importance of keeping up with our support network. Maintaining an effective support network is just as essential as remaining in tune with your own body and mind. A strong support system makes a lasting contribution, providing benefits long beyond Christmastime. When we experience times where we feel overwhelmed or stretched beyond our capabilities, this circle of friends and family becomes even more essential. Your support network serves as your safety net in times of difficulty, keeping you safe and steady. Remember, it is okay to feel overwhelmed, but you don't have to do it alone. Leaning on your support network can help you manage these emotions more effectively and prevent them from intensifying or impacting on your mental health.

Reach Out To Jackson House

Feeling lost or alone this holiday season? Jackson House can help you more effectively manage your chronic or seasonal depression and light a path to wellness. Start by contacting us to learn more about our comprehensive treatment programs. 

About the author

Jackson House

Jackson House

We built Jackson House because we realized there was a critical gap in our healthcare system and many individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems were struggling because of it. While there are many outpatient treatment options and locked, inpatient facilities there was nothing in the middle. Nothing to help people who needed around the clock care but wanted to receive treatment voluntarily, on their own terms. Jackson House is different. We provide clients with the level of care they need in a welcoming environment. When you walk through our doors, we will meet you wherever you’re at and help you on your journey toward feeling better.

It's time to feel better

We are here to help and we are in-network with most insurance providers. Call us for a free and confidential consultation.

If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at (888) 255-9280. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.