Uniting for Youth: Insights From the JED Policy Summit on Student Mental Health
By Rebecca Bauer On October 30, 2023, more than 100 mental health experts, advocates, and allies gathered in Washington, D.C., for the JED Policy Summit: ...
Perhaps no time period is more renowned for its profound benefits and equally profound challenges than the end-of-year holiday season. Mostly, we collectively perceive this season as positive: feelings of happiness, love, connection, and energy are common at this time. But, for many, the holiday season also brings reminders of difficult relationships, material stress, and short- or long-term health challenges. This is because this is a season that asks us to open our hearts, our homes, and often mandates that we put resources and effort into giving of ourselves in a number of material and immaterial ways.
Giving so much of ourselves opens us to joy, but also stress.
When asked about elements of holiday stress, one of the most common challenges reported is the stress associated with shopping and other forms of giving – of time, attention, and material gifts, just to name a few. This can be particularly challenging when material resources are already stretched thin, leaving potential givers feeling ill-equipped to meet their own or others’ giving expectations before they even get started. And the experience of receiving – even the anticipatory experience of receiving connection, care, gifts, anything – can be completely overshadowed by the general business of the season.
While there is no sure-fire way to relieve holiday stressors, the reality is that both giving and receiving, in tangible and intangible ways, confer positive mental health benefits. Here are a few tips for capitalizing on the positive feelings that can come from giving and receiving:
If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone right now, text, call, or chat 988 for a free confidential conversation with a trained counselor 24/7.
You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741.
If this is a medical emergency or if there is immediate danger of harm, call 911 and explain that you need support for a mental health crisis.