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Dealing with COVID-19 and Holiday Stress

Health professionals prepare to help more people as the pandemic continues and the holidays...
Health professionals prepare to help more people as the pandemic continues and the holidays quickly approach.(MGN Online)
Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 9:45 AM MST
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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - Thanksgiving can be stressful for some people and this year could be more difficult with COVID-19 thrown into the mix.

Health Solutions in Pueblo tells 11 News they usually see an increase in the amount of people they help during this time of year. Right now they are preparing to help even more on top of those people with the pandemic.

This year health professionals say they will not just be talking about the normal stress from the holidays. The Health Solutions Adult Services director, Katie Ledbetter says, “I think really the biggest thing we’re seeing is a cumulative fatigue and distress. Coping with the endlessly unknown is really hard on the psyche and I think that’s what we’re seeing more.”

Ledbetter says now is the time to cope ahead of time. What that entails is to start to understand what this part of the year is usually like for you. Then you can start to anticipate disappointment and frustration and sadness you are going to experience. Ledbetter says doing so will help your emotional system start to experience and start coping effectively.

“Imagining yourself having that emotional experience today and coping with it effectively. So it’s a bit of a practice and rehearsal for the emotional system but also allows us to be proactive and identify people and activities that are going to help get us through a time of year that is going to be difficult instead of rewarding and for filling like it would typically be” said Ledbetter.

Jessica Russell, Crestone Recovery Services Director at Health Solutions is urging people to make new memories this year.

“Maybe you’re going to have a really small Thanksgiving celebration but you’ve always wanted to try a different kind of pie or a different kind of dessert. So you create a plan that gives you a little bit of excitement. If I’m not going to my parents or my grandparents house to have grandma’s pumpkin pie I’m at least going to try this new type of pie so that I can have some thing to have a little bit of hope for” said Russell.

Health Solutions tells 11 News that during this pandemic everyone has been surviving for awhile now and it is natural and normal to feel fatigued. It is encouraged to reach out to people and ask for help if you are feeling this type of way.

Ledbetter says now is an important time to make sure you are taking care of yourself. “You may not be able to build an incredibly meaningful COVID holiday season, but you might be able to make sure you drink enough water and you don’t end up on the other side of this completely destroyed from not sleeping for weeks on end in addition to the holiday stress” she adds.

Russell knows this year is unlike others and recommends doing holiday celebrations over zoom so you can still see your loved ones but you are not putting anyone at risk. “Unfortunately this isn’t exactly the year for that kind of connection so we have to find a way to create connection even if it looks a little different” says Russell.

For more information on how Health Solutions can help you, click here. Health professionals are on call 24/7 to help you. You can reach them at 719-545-2746.

You can also call the Colorado Crisis Hotline at 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255.

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