Instagram Versus Real Life during the Holidays

holidays, mental health, holiday stress, Instagram

Are you marveling at photos of holiday bliss flitting across your social media feeds this time of year? Remember Instagram doesn’t feature the frazzled vibe.

The holidays are supposed to be about relaxing and celebrating with friends and family. Instead, the reality often includes scurrying from one event to the next, extra spending on food and gifts and additional professional and personal obligations.

Trish Fehr, LCPC, is a counselor at Memorial Behavioral Health and understands the pressure of keeping up with an endless “To Do” list and making it all look effortless.

“People encounter major stressors this time of year,” Fehr said. “Balancing extra celebrations with friends and family, school events and seasonal activities added to financial decisions regarding gifts and budget demands plus expectations not matching reality – it all adds up.”

holidays, mental health, holiday stress, Instagram

She shares these coping strategies:

  • Feel emboldened to say, “No, thank you,” to protect a more reasonable schedule.
  • Unplug the technology. Be face-focused instead of screen-focused.
  • Avoid sugar highs and lows.
  • Be intentional about moderation when it comes to food, alcohol or cannabis.
  • Incorporate exercise into your daily routine and head outdoors to take advantage of sunshine and Vitamin D.
  • Stay well-rested and maintain a normal sleep schedule.
  • Recognize and consider the positive things in your life. Tap into treasured traditions or create new ones with family and friends.

“Don’t forget those suffering from grief, depression or anxiety over missing loved ones,” Fehr said. “Volunteering to help others who are in need of help or could just use extra company can help move your mind from individual stressors to a more gratitude-minded perspective.”

If you or someone you care about is struggling with mental health issues, visit Memorial Behavioral Health for resources and help.