GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – According to the National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI), the holiday season has a negative impact on 64 percent of people with mental health issues; however, the winter season can be hard for people of all mental health backgrounds, experts say.

“It is normal for every human to experience sadness and anxiety,” Krista Martin, a clinical social worker said. “If it moves into an area where these feel more problematic – these aren’t emotions that come and go but emotions that stay and begin to feel heavier – I think that becomes a challenge.”

Martin and her therapy dog, Eliot, help people in the Upstate navigate such challenges.

People struggle with all kinds of problems around the holidays, she said, including grief, loss, depression, stress, anxiety, seasonal affective disorder and nostalgia, among others.

“If we can prioritize rest, fueling our body in healthy ways and moving our bodies in ways that feel good, I think that goes a long way,” Martin said. “Beyond that, as long as we can pair that with boundaries – the ability to say no or to say yes with limitations – goes a long way through the holidays.”

If you find yourself struggling this holiday season, there are resources available to help, including the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can call or text 988 to reach the lifeline, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Other resources include the following: