Mental health during the next holiday season

BAKERSFIELD, Calif .– Another holiday season impacted by COVID-19.

“The common thing that I see [similar] last year, it’s: “I feel lonely in there. Over thinking. Overtreatment. “Will it be like last year?” Said Jacob Kountz, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist.

Kountz said it’s important to be clear on what you’re comfortable with.

“Saying no is difficult, especially for those who are more likely to say, ‘Yes, I’m fine. Give me a hug, “when they’re feeling a little unsure whether they’re enjoying this right now,” Kountz said.

Last year most of us celebrated the holidays virtually, but that’s not necessarily the case this year. Families can see each other in person during the holiday season, but getting together for the first time in so long can be worrying for people.

“Just know that because they feel a little unsure of the situation, it’s probably a universal feeling that other people feel as well,” Kountz said.

Kountz said you should have honest conversations about what everyone is comfortable with and not take people’s preferences personally.

“It’s going to take a dialogue, not just giving up and saying, ‘You know what, they’re just for or against me right now.’ No, just breathe in and notice that they’re probably having as much difficulty as you are, ”Kountz said.

Some families may celebrate without a loved one they have lost to COVID-19. Kountz said doing something in honor of that person, like writing a letter or visiting a memorable place, can help. And don’t forget to accept the feelings of grief.

“It’s kind of a messy ball of yarn that’s everywhere. It’s tangled. It’s hard to undo. [Know] that this is completely normal, ”he said.

And if you’re celebrating virtually or alone this year, keep reaching out to others.

“I could sit and do nothing and soak up difficult feelings, or I could try to do my best,” Kountz said.

Write letters to people or take advantage of today’s technology using phone calls or Zoom.

And remember, the pandemic will eventually get even better.

“This is probably still a temporary condition. Things change all the time, ”Kountz said.

Kountz also said he encouraged everyone to seek professional help for further support. Click here for more details on mental health resources in Kern County.

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