‘Holiday Blues’: Family support much needed this year, say mental health experts

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The holidays are normally filled with joy and laughter. However, for some people, it is also a time filled with sadness.

Dr. Gerardo Mireles, Psychologist with Mireles Psychological Health Services said this year emotions are running high within families because the pandemic has made a huge impact on everyone’s lives.

Vanessa Vale Saenz, DHR Vice President of Behavioral Health Services said feelings of depression or anxiety are common. She said they are both part of the holiday blues. 

Saenz said it is not only adults that go through these emotions but also children.

According to Saenz, a simple way to help yourself or someone cope with the holiday blues is by acknowledging that the holidays are a time to be grateful.

“It’s a time to really reflect on ourselves, reflect on one another, how we’ve been feeling,” said Saenz.

Saenz said the holidays are a great time to have open conversations with loved ones. She said families need to make more of an effort to remove the stigma around mental health. 

As Thanksgiving approaches, Dr. Mireles encourages families to be a support system for one another. 

He said it is important to be respectful of each other’s feelings and encourages families who are grieving to remember loved ones through meaningful activities. 

“Honor that loved one by reciting a poem, by reading a spiritual reading, by having a prayer in their own household; planting a tree, maybe preparing a favorite meal that the person liked,” said Dr. Mireles.

In addition to close relatives, Dr. Mireles encourages everyone to make an effort to reach out to loved ones who are far away. 

According to Saenz, there are many resources available for people who are dealing emotionally through difficult times. She encourages you to call 956-362-HELP (4357).

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Community Stories