Handling grief, depression, and anxiety during the holidays as a teen

Sophomore Gabby Weil explains what it is like to feel these emotions during the holidays.



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The holiday season is a time to celebrate and enjoy yourself through a number of different activities and traditions. It’s a time for family and friends, reminiscing on past memories and living in the moment with the people you love most. At least that’s what it’s supposed to be.. right? I think society lacks the inclusion of mental health when it comes to these universally loved holidays and seasons. We focus so much on making these moments enjoyable and happy that we forget the importance of recognizing just exactly what emotions and feelings this time period can trigger. Especially for teenagers, who statistically already struggle with understanding emotion and finding the appropriate outlets for these feelings. I have experienced two winter seasons without my sister who passed in November of 2018 and I handled them poorly due to a lack of self care and understanding. Being someone who has struggled very badly with grief, I find myself searching for ways to maintain a well balanced mental state for this up and coming holiday season. Below is some feedback from valuable voices from GLHS!

  • Sophomore, Bella Davis says “ The biggest thing for me when I lost my Grandpa was accepting that it's okay to hurt. You don't have to put on a brave face all the time and pretend like you're over it or anything like that. Allow yourself to just have a mental breakdown if you need to, because it's not healthy to hold in your emotions. Once you allow yourself to hurt and accept your emotions are valid, it's much easier to move on with your life knowing that that's what your loved one would've wanted. And I find that when I let it out, I feel even closer to my Grandpa and I know he's still with me. Also, turn to your family and friends. Nobody knows you like them, and nobody understands your hurt more than them. You are loved and you will get through this, even if it seems impossible right now. It sounds super cheesy, but love is the answer. The only way to heal a hole in your heart is with love. Keep loving others and keep accepting love from the people close to you, and always remember that you're never alone.”

  • Junior, Marykate Gebhart says “So I have depression and anxiety which is really hard during the holiday season in general. Especially with covid being in the picture. My grandparents were a big part of the holiday season but this year they moved to Florida. My grandparents have always been there for me and we’re always there for every holiday and any event in my life. What has helped with my seasonal sadness is honestly facetime and spending some me time. Mental health is an issue that a lot of people face. So it is so important to take some time to reflect. For me I work out once a week and spend some down time with hot cocoa, comfy pjs and a good holiday movie to cheer me up.”

  • Senior, Zach Allen says “ So my grandma and uncle died a few years ago so I usually distract myself. Like cook a bunch or clean to not let myself think about it.”

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