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Holiday Stress: Tips on how to manage

TV6 spoke with a Quad Cities mental health center that shared ways people can manage the stress of the holiday season.
Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 6:50 PM CST
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Davenport, Iowa (KWQC) - Holiday stress can be overwhelming especially with the impacts the pandemic has had on annual holiday traditions. TV6 spoke with a Quad Cities mental health center that shared ways people can manage the stress of the holiday season.

Dr. Richard Whitaker, the CEO of Vera French Mental Health Center, said one of the most difficult things is the high expectations of the holiday season. He said managing expectations is important.

“Recognize that maybe things won’t be perfect and that’s okay. Maybe we won’t have everyone around us like in years past. That’s okay too. Maybe it’s going to be more of a self-care time of year. That’s okay. Especially this year,” he said.

Exercising and connecting with nature are also other ways to destress along with reflecting and connecting with others.

“Maybe this year hasn’t been the best but it maybe hasn’t been the worst either. Now’s a good time to count our blessings and reflect on the good of the past year,” he said. “Reach out with our loved ones. Maybe in new ways. Because of the pandemic, we might not be able to have everybody home with us but maybe we reach out in other ways and connect with them. It’s so important to our mental health.”

Self-care and unplugging when you need to can help as well.

“Take care of the things that are important to you. Get out and do things that help you to feel good,” Whitaker said. “Unplug from social media, from all the emails and texting, and just have a moment to maybe just breathe and get in touch with kind of our mindfulness.”

There are resources out there for everyone.

“Come in when you need to come in and talk to somebody. We’ll do a mental health evaluation with you and get you started back on the path to where you want to be and to your own best self.”

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