Those anxious for holidays aren’t Grinches

The holidays are in full swing, bringing joy to a number of your family and friends. If you’ve got your tree up and are blasting your favorite Christmas tunes, we are all happy that you are having a great time and enjoying the season.

Unfortunately, not everybody will be comfortable with the celebrations. With such time and resources dedicated to celebrating the holiday, the season zaps up people’s social batteries more than a Clark Griswold light display.

Those suffering from social anxiety can feel stressed during the holidays for multiple reasons. It could be from years of listening to the same eight holiday songs while working in retail, financial worry and strain with gift giving and travel or from those spending their first holiday without a loved one. Political discord with family, loneliness, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and past trauma can also force people into anxiety and depression at a higher rate this time of year, according to the American Psychological Association.

Instead of addressing these real mental health issues, people overwhelmed are often depicted as grinches, fun-suckers and part of the “war on Christmas”. The comments are meant as a joke, but it may add to the mental and emotional exhaustion of those already burnt out. We say “it may” because mental health is highly individualistic and responses can be different based on other circumstances.

In no way should anyone turn down their holiday spirit. Whether your joy is based on tradition, religion or a combination of the two, please shine bright. This editorial is a request for our Alger County neighbors to think differently towards those not enjoying themselves because they may be struggling or overwhelmed.