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Home / Expert Opinion / MCBA President’s Message: Seek help if you’re feeling stressed this holiday season

MCBA President’s Message: Seek help if you’re feeling stressed this holiday season

Bradley Kammholz

Bradley Kammholz

You’ve heard it before. As joyous as the holiday season can be, it can be very lonely for many people. Depression creeps in this time of year more than any other time of the year, and anxiety levels can shoot through the roof even with the best laid plans.

But there is hope!

In December, we’re trying to hit budget; bill the remainder of our required hours; close real estate deals, corporate transactions and divorces for clients that want or need it all done by Dec. 31; collect receivables; attend partnership and management meetings; look at the numbers again and again and again; go to parties (some that we want to go to and some that we don’t); decorate and decorate some more; sign piles of holiday cards; shop for tons of presents (way more than needed); plan the holiday meals; visit family and friends; long for the kids and grandkids to come home; entertain/watch the younger ones during their school break; make sure we maintain all of the holiday traditions that we do every year (because we can’t be the one who dropped that ball); and try to figure out if we can really take time off between Christmas and the New Year (when most other people aren’t working).

At the same time, we worry about whether we can really get it all done in time, whether we’re spending too much money, whether we’re spending enough time with our family, and whether we’re making enough memories (because the years are flying by). On top of all of that, there’s COVID-19.

It’s easy to feel alone in the middle of all that. All of that running and worrying leads to more and more isolation — even when we’re with family, at our office, or standing in the middle of a huge crowd at a party, a hockey game or the mall.

So what can you do if you’re feeling alone, depressed or anxious?

First, slow down and take a breath. Tell yourself it’s going to be ok. Maybe you don’t need to get it all done. Try to take a few minutes to take stock of what’s really going on and what’s really important. Think about all you’re grateful for and try to give yourself a break.

Next, talk to someone. Talk about how you’re feeling. It will help. In fact, it will not only help you, but it will also help the person you talk with.

You might tell yourself: “Nobody will understand.” Trust me — they will. In fact, they’re probably worried about the same things that you’re worried about.

You also might say: “I don’t want to burden other people” or “I don’t want to mess up someone else’s holiday.” Believe me — you’re not a burden … they (we) want to help.

So reach out to a friend, family member, or colleague. They (we) care about you.

And if you’re still hesitant or don’t know who to call, you can call Tree of Hope at 585-353-1541. The call is confidential and it’s free. You’ll also receive up to four free confidential visits with a therapist.

Putting your head down and trying to muscle your way through it just won’t work. It’s a sure-fire way to bring you depression and anxiety. Human beings need other human beings. We can’t just lock ourselves away in our offices.

And if you’re the person who likes to close their door while they work, I need you to come out of your office. Your colleagues need you to visit with them. And you need it, too.

I hope you have an enjoyable, less stressful holiday season this year. Take care, my friends.

Bradley Kammholz is the 2021-22 President of the Monroe County Bar Association and is a partner at Kammholz Rossi PLLC. He can be reached at