Challenges of the Holiday - Ashland County Council of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

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Challenges of the Holiday

Challenges of the Holiday
December 05, 2023

This is a time during the year that is particularly difficult for many people due to increased pressures and stresses associated to the holidays. Often times we hear and observe from our client; feelings of depression, being alone and isolated and an increase in financial burdens of life that the holidays seem to exacerbate. For many of our clients, all of the services we provide at ACCADA is place where they can feel to a significant degree; understood, cared about, and supported. The consistency with which we provide our services; allows for a sense of belonging to express and discuss strategies to manage their stresses, particularly during this friend and family-oriented time of the year.

It is critical throughout the year and even more crucial during the holiday season to be aware of and alert to the increased levels of depression, suicidal ideation, anger and loneliness that is intensified around the holidays. These risky emotional states can and often do, lead our clients to make decisions which are not always in the best interests of themselves and others. During this time of year and beyond New Year’s, we often hear our clients talk about increased levels of drinking and substance use as well as feeling isolated. It has been found that many individuals experience post-holiday depression as a result from disappointments during the preceding months.

It is through our thoughtful and consistent diligence around these issues within our agency that we can assist our clients in managing their increases stresses associated with the holidays.

Feel free to take the time to discuss the above issues with your clients. Education and awareness that there is an increase in one’s negative emotional life at significant times of the year can make the difference. It has the effect of providing a sense of what to expect, a grounding effect; that although I will experience stressful and difficult feelings; it is not unexpected, it can be effectively managed and that you do not have to impulsively react to increased levels of anxiety, depression and loneliness that are associated to the holidays.

Some Suggestions for coping with the stress of the Holidays:

  • The holiday season can be a lot. Take it one thing at a time.
  • Check-in on yourself. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stop. Check-in on yourself. Take a breath.
  • Keep expectations for the holiday season manageable. Try to set realistic goals for yourself. Pace yourself. Organize your time. Make a list and prioritize the important activities.
  • Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Don’t put the entire focus on just one day. Remember, it’s a long season of holidays and activities can be spread out to lessen stress and increase enjoyment.
  • Remember the holiday season does not banish reasons for feeling sad or lonely; there is room for these feelings to be present, even if the person chooses not to express them.
  • Do something for someone else. Try volunteering some of your time to help others.
  • Enjoy activities that are free.
  • Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way.
  • Be aware that excessive drinking will only increase feelings of depression.
  • Try to spend time with supportive and caring people. Reach out and make new friends.
  • Leave the “past” in the past and look forward to the future. Life brings changes. Don’t set yourself up in comparing today with the “good old days.”

Rick Ford-ACCADA Director

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Ashland County Council on
Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

Phone: (419) 289-7675

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Ashland Location
310 College Avenue
Ashland, Ohio 44805

Hours: Weekdays 8:30-5:30, Weds. hours extend to 8 PM
Loudonville Location
Kettering Health Center
546 North Union Street
Loudonville, Ohio 44842

Hours: Thursdays, 1-5 PM

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In addition to our services in Ashland, we offer services in Loudonville. Our Loudonville office is at the Kettering Health Center, 546 North Union Street. We provide services at this location on Thursdays from 1 to 5 PM.

To schedule an appointment, call (419) 289-7675.