A Socially-Distant Holiday
Perhaps the biggest reason why we need to prioritize our mental health right now has to do with the social distance guidelines in place. People traditionally spend time with their families during the holidays, but depending on where you are and how large your family is, that might not be an option this year. Many states have mandates in place that limit the number of people who can gather in one place, which means the traditional Christmas Eve dinner you might have with your family might not happen this year. Losing this kind of social interaction is going to hit a lot of people hard.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (often appropriately referred to as SAD) will also likely affect people more this year. SAD is a depressive state that tends to affect people during the winter months, mainly due to the shorter days and relative lack of sunlight. Many people combat SAD by being able to go out and spend time with family and friends, something that will be difficult this winter, if not impossible. With social distancing guidelines in effect, the only thing left is to spend time outside in the sun, which also may not be an option if the weather doesn’t permit it.
Since we’re likely headed for a rough winter this year, you will need to take better care of yourself. This means finding time to socialize with others remotely if you cannot do so in person, and finding ways to keep yourself busy if you must self-isolate. Find a hobby to distract yourself, get outside whenever you can, and seek professional help if you feel like you need it. There’s no way of knowing when this pandemic will actually end, and we all need to make sure that we stay mentally and physically healthy until it does.