Holidays, for many, pose challenges to overcoming stress


HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Even without the coronavirus disrupting our usual holiday routines, some find the weeks from Thanksgiving to the new year stressful. In any event, the holidays can be a struggle.

It can especially be the case for those who have battled addiction and find the “down time” from their usual routines as a temptation to revert back to drug or alcohol abuse. To prevent a relapse, seek the support of family and friends. One Hagerstown resident says bonding with those close to you can be enormously comforting.

“The memory of your loved ones is always there. In my family, we’ve lost several people around Thanksgiving time. And it’s always been difficult. But we always share stories about that person. And that really does help,” says Regina Shrader of Hagerstown.

For some, like Sean Mosley of Hagerstown, getting through the holiday season is pretty basic. Just to see the sunrise, he says, is a positive start. “I’m blessed,” Mosley says. “I would like to thank God for letting me see another day. And I’m thankful for waking up this morning.”

And if the holidays aren’t stressful enough for many without a pandemic to disrupt everything, Regina Shrader’s advice is to listen to the experts. There is no upside, she says, if we don’t.

“Stay safe,” Shrader says, “and please follow everything they’re asking us to do health-wise because that’s very important.”

And social service resources, especially in a year like 2020, can be helpful. Mental health experts suggest taking on a volunteer project and “giving back,” and staying connected with your support groups.

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