Many people are dealing with extra stress as their holiday plans change

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 4:58 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The pandemic continues to impact people’s mental health, and as they gear up for Thanksgiving, many are feeling extra stress as their plans change.

“It definitely affects people’s mental health. I think that you know with the holidays there can be difficulties due to the pandemic. And emotions have been much more extreme, so people are expecting to have this holiday, and they’re sick of being isolated, yet they still have to comprise. They still have to change,” says Dr. Kari Scovel, a licensed psychologist for Scovel Psychological and Counseling Services.

The constant changes can be difficult for adults, but they can be even harder for children.

“Just explain to your children that maybe 2021 will be different, but this one will be more close at home. And that it’s okay if they feel irritated or upset,” says Scovel.

Even though you may not be celebrating with your family in person, there are still ways to come together.

“Get out the virtual. So take a virtual walk with your kids and your grandparents. Do the zoom meetings where it’s just like you’re there present at the holiday. Cook the turkey, bake the pie with your family, do the Christmas cookie cutouts,” says Scovel.

And due to the pandemic, many people have turned to binge eating to help cope with stress, so as you sit around the table for your Thanksgiving dinner, it’s important to remember.

“Don’t overindulge with alcohol because then your social distancing gets blurred. Whether it’s at Thanksgiving or holidays or you know in a restaurant or wherever you’re at, so be careful with that. And don’t overeat. I mean, we’re are all susceptible to overeating right now because we’ve been more isolated. So really kind of watch that. I mean, sure, have a nice great meal at Thanksgiving but then go for a walk go for a hike,” says Scovel.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 1-800-273-8255.

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