Community college advocates for positive coping strategies for the holidays

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — For many, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year.

Educators at Craven Community College are reminding folks that for some this season can be difficult.

That’s why they decided to host a Holiday Stress Mental Health Resources Fair.

“People can sometimes feel very isolated, get depressed, and there’s a lot of stress,” said Kelly Taylor, a counselor at Craven Community College.

Taylor said 80% of adults deal with holiday stress.

That stress can come from financial difficulties, strained relationships, poor social support, exhaustion, loneliness, and other factors that stem from the holiday hustle and bustle.

“I think a lot of people have this idea of Christmas being the family together, and everything’s great and everybody’s getting along, but that’s not the case,” said Taylor.

The added stress could lead to poor decision making, and cause people to turn to alcohol or drugs.

“It’s okay to have a lot of stress this time of year. So, we wanted to address that, and we wanted to let people know there are resources out there to address that,” said Taylor.

Wednesday, during the fair, educators are flipping the script and giving the community resources and easy ways to cope.

“Eating nutritiously in a relaxed way,” said a representative from ‘Hope 4 NC.’ “Take time for yourself to either be alone or to center yourself kind of desensitize yourself from all the stress.”

Some coping strategies are simple, like meditating or coloring.

Others are more physical, including screaming, running, or punching a pillow.

Above all, advocates are trying to show folks there are people here to help all year long.

“Community outreach is key,” said Candince Parker of Promise Place. “If somebody does not know there are services available to them then they’re not going to utilize them, and they’re not going to find a way to help themselves get better.”

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