'It's normal to feel sadness and grief': Professionals weigh in on mental health during holidays
The holiday season is an exciting time for many, but it can be difficult for people struggling with mental health issues.
Mental health professionals in the Valley say they've seen an increase in social anxiety during the pandemic, and the holidays can make it worse.
"Now that a lot of the restrictions have been lifted, I do see more and more individuals stressed out about having to reintegrate," Marina Ibarra, a therapist at DHR Health Behavioral, said. "People who already struggle with anxiety may feel that they have to meet certain expectations from their family and friends."
The Director of Counseling at South Texas College, Santa Elisa Peña, says the loss of family members can also be even more difficult this time of year.
"Just realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief during this time," Peña said. "It's okay. You want to acknowledge your feelings."
Both professionals recommend talking to someone if you're feeling alone.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.