The Holidays Negatively Impact My Mental Health

November 29, 2021 Laura A. Barton

Among tinsel and twinkling lights and cheer, it’s not something people want to hear, but it’s true: the holidays negatively impact my mental health. Whereas others find cheer in the music and gift-wrapping, I find discomfort, anxiety, and darkness. The even more difficult thing is there’s really no safe, stigma-free space to talk about it.

Holiday Magic Doesn’t Cure Mental Health Struggles

I’m sorry. Holiday magic is not a cure for mental health struggles. This isn’t a Hallmark movie where the main character learns the Christmas spirit. This is life, where, for me, the struggle continues, even increases.

But saying that often means being met with comments about being a Grinch, which I’ve written about at length. I’m not here to talk about that again. Rather, I want to talk about having a space to be honest about mental health struggles during the holiday season.

Talking About the Negative Impacts of the Holidays Can Help Ease the Struggle of Mental Health

Having a space to talk about not liking the holiday season honestly would be more helpful than I think people understand. The fear of smothering the joy leads to shaming and stigmatizing people like me who are negatively impacted by the holiday, which actually makes things worse because it just fosters more negativity. I discuss this in the video below.

It’s Not About Ruining the Holidays; It’s About Trying to Survive

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, how the holidays negatively impact mental health is something I’m probably going to keep talking about each year. I’m likely to keep going on this conversation until people realize this isn’t an attempt to ruin the holidays, but a reality that we—I’m—trying to survive.

Is the gift of a safe space to acknowledge that holidays can negatively impact mental health a gift you can give this season?

APA Reference
Barton, L. (2021, November 29). The Holidays Negatively Impact My Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 17 from

Author: Laura A. Barton

Laura A. Barton is a fiction and non-fiction writer from Ontario, Canada. Follow her writing journey and book love on Instagram, and Goodreads.

Lizanne Corbit
November, 30 2021 at 3:53 pm

This is an important conversation for many to see! There are countless reasons why the holidays can actually be a very difficult time for people. Those with mental health struggles, those dealing with grief, even those dealing with financial hardship and strain (each one of these struggles is of course different). It's important to drop the facade of the holidays being magic for all and recognize that they can be a hard time for many, for very valid reasons. Thank you for sharing!

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