BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The holidays can be a joyous time for many, but it can also be tough for those struggling with mental health. Lotus Effect Coaching Group Kimberly Moore, or ‘Coach K’ as she likes to go by, said this is normal, and there are tools to help.

“If you are already in a very compromised space with your emotions and feeling alone or feeling lost or dealing with that it defiantly intensifies right,” Moore said.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) said 64% of people living with mental illness reported that their conditions got worse around the holidays.

“You sometimes go on social media and now you’re seeing, you know, all the families with their matching pajamas and moms cooking with their daughters and you know people giving gifts and that might not be what your holiday looks like,” Moore said.

Moore says advises people going into the holidays, knowing it will be difficult to have some mental health tools in their toolbox.

“Allow yourself to process those feelings, that is one, and that you have the right to feel,” Moore continues. “Number two is to have a plan. So if I already know my mom when I go over here is going to say certain things that are going to bring up emotions for me, set a time and set those boundaries for yourself.”

Moore also recommends that you don’t have to participate in old traditions if they bring you pain, don’t bring you joy or the people you used to do them with are no longer around.

“You have the right to change traditions, so even if you don’t show up, now’ I want to go ride and look at Christmas trees,’ ‘I want to take a walk’ — like, you can create your own tradition,” Moore said.

Moore explained that there are several other coping mechanisms that can help you with the holidays, but if that is not enough, seek professional support such as calling the national suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

“There are people there waiting to help,” Moore said.