Coping with loneliness during holidays, as health officials warn against gatherings

Local News
February 07 2021 06:00 pm

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Every year many look forward to the holiday season and gathering with family and friends. However, because of the pandemic, health officials are recommending people stay home.

Around Thanksgiving time, grocery store shelves are empty, airports are full and highways are seeing people on the road to see their family, but 2020 looks a little different.

For some, spending time alone can send someone slipping down a dark path.

“People are already used to being isolated so it’s almost going to be like the norm for a lot of people, just staying at home,” said Dr. Teresa Chapa-Cantu, a psychologist at Resiliency Psychological Center.

She said people who already suffer from anxiety and depression are the most vulnerable.

“Different kinds of stress I think it’s a lot of the unknown that’s causing a lot of stress, how long this is going to last. And not only that, having to change your routine especially for parents having your kids at home and kids being home,” she said.

COVID-19 cases across the country aren’t declining.

Over a million people have tested positive for the virus in Texas and airline officials are predicting millions of people will travel this week, nowhere near pre-pandemic numbers.

For people who are staying home this Thanksgiving, there are tips to get by.

“We recommend keeping the same routine and modifying the rest. You know cooking the same foods maybe in a different portion size. Reaching out to the same people through video and telephone. Doing the same things decorating your home, keeping the same routine as much as possible,” she said.

Dr. Chapa-Cantu adds if you find yourself struggling, then it’s time to seek professional help.

“Impacting your work or if you’re in school impacting your grades. Things like thinking about death and suicide or turning to alcohol or drugs. Those are red flags that people should be aware of. Not only for themselves but for people that they care about.”

Dr. Chapa-Cantu added going outside and exercising is beneficial for your mental and physical health.Se mentions she is offering free 20 minute consultations and is starting a free group session for the holidays.

For more information call (956) 230-1210.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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