Although the holidays are filled with things merry and bright, everyone’s experience is unique. A CDC survey showed that 84% were moderately to overwhelmingly stressed during the holiday season. November through January has been reported to be a time where stress, anxiety, and depression spike due to a variety of reasons related to the holidays.

Substance use can be triggered as an unhealthy way to cope with the stress that the holiday season brings on. Learn more about what the CDC and The American Addiction Centers have discovered about substance use during the holidays below.

Causes of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

The top three common stressors during the holiday season are:

  1. Finances

With traveling, taking time off, and buying gifts it can change your budget dramatically. Families that struggle during the year with finances, really feel it during this season with the extra pressure of the holidays. The CDC survey says 62% reported higher financial anxiety during the months of November to January.

  • Gift Giving

November and December are great for retail stores, but not the best for family and friends trying to buy gifts for everyone they love. Families that have multiple children have a harder time during the holidays with making holiday wishes come true and checking off their huge holiday to do lists.

  • Family Relationships

Every family is different, not everyone enjoys the presence of relatives that might have negative thoughts and feelings towards each other. Some people have divided families which leads to multiple gatherings and a lot more travel. Others do not have loved ones to spend the holidays with and find this season hard to get through on their own.

Studies have shown that Seasonal Affective Disorder is linked directly to substance use, which brings in weather as a factor as well during this time of the year. With all these different triggers that can lead to someone starting or increasing their substance use, it is important to be aware of the danger and acknowledge it. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, you are not alone.

We are here for you!

Have the holidays taken a toll on you? Zumbro Valley Health Center has counselors and programs to help you or your loved ones with substance use. If you are wanting to set up an appointment or get more information, check out the Zumbro Valley Health Center website: