The holiday season is very difficult for many people, especially individuals who have a mental health diagnosis. The stressors are quite abundant and memories of past trauma can trigger an episode for many people. I often try not to internalize "the madness" of the holiday season. This includes the stress of holiday shopping, gift-giving, traveling, family interactions among other other possible triggers. I usually distract myself with far more interesting ideas of hope, help and happiness.
Coping Mechanisms – Bipolar Griot
Coping with a chronic mental illness or mental health issue is a deeply personal endeavor. Yet the irony of effective treatment is one's ability to be open about this very personal struggle. Freud had a therapeutic concept called the "talking cure" which within the context psychology is a very specific type of psychotherapy. But I think if we generalize the theory and apply to our everyday lives it can also be helpful.
Whether you have a mental health diagnosis or not, life is difficult and stressful. Triggers, that can activate or increase your mental illness symptoms, are lurking everywhere. They can be family-related, work-related or health-related. That's why I'm a big proponent of engaging in behaviors that are preventive and proactive rather than reactive.