APS CARES about the mental, physical and emotional health of our students, staff, parents and community members. Although the holiday season is full of happiness and cheer, it can present challenges in the form of increased demands, family issues, a heightened sense of loss and more. This year, we are also contending with the added stressors: the pandemic, election, civic unrest and more.
Thankfully, our Mental Health and Counseling experts have provided some helpful advice and resources to ensure we take care of ourselves and our loved ones as those sleigh bells ring.
If you notice people isolate themselves from what usually brings them joy, grow easily frustrated or disappointed in themselves or others, or behave with more intensity than usual, they may be struggling with difficult emotions. This may be a good time to open a conversation with that person that is honest, normalizes holiday stress and focuses on what he or she is grateful for. Please also consider engaging him or her in uplifting activities.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) says that to overcome the “holiday blues,” note that it is short-term. In 2020, the holiday season may seem short-term, but the stress of the additional complications in our world may continue. Please remember to use the following strategies past the holiday season. The NAMI suggests getting proper rest, taking time for (but not isolating) oneself, eating and drinking in moderation, exercising, committing to less, listening to music or finding other healthy ways to relax.
Mental Health Resources
For added support, our Mental Health and Counseling team connects students and families with community partners. One of our main partners, Aurora Mental Health, operates six centers in Aurora. Visit aumhc.org for details. Another great resource is Colorado Crisis Services. Their mental health professionals are available 24 hours every day. Call 1-844-493-8255, text “TALK” to 38255, visit coloradocrisisservices.org/chat or stop by 4353 E. Colfax Ave.
For more information about our Mental Health and Counseling services, visit mentalhealth.aurorak12.org. We wish you the happiest (and healthiest) of holidays!