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Families cope with tough times during holiday season

Mental health expert offers advice to cope with stress
Joe Ardagna with family
Posted at 5:04 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 18:33:12-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The pandemic is adding an extra layer of stress for many parents this holiday season, but there are ways you and your family can cope.

For families struggling to make ends meet or keep their business afloat because of the pandemic, the holidays will look a lot different.

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Joe Ardagna, the co-owner of Slash Fitness in Delray Beach, knows a bit about perseverance.

"We try to see the best in everything," Ardagna said.

However, 2020 has been a challenge.

"One big roller-coaster ride for sure," Ardagna said.

He said business is picking up, but it is still way down compared to last year, causing added stress during the holidays.

"The kids give you a wish list in hopes that Santa will bring certain things. Obviously, it's been a big hit this year," Ardagna said.

Megan Cassidy, registered mental health intern at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches
Megan Cassidy, a registered mental health intern at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches, reminds everyone that memories last longer than material gifts.

The father of two says though Santa is still delivering gifts, but he wants his children to know why it might look different this year.

"There are things going [on] out in the world, and that Santa also has to play his part in order to give back and help others," Ardagna said.

Megan Cassidy is a registered mental health intern at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches. She said it is important to remember that memories last longer than material gifts.

"Make a coupon book for your kid, make breakfast with mommy, go to the beach with dad. You know the one-on-one time, little adventures you can go on," Cassidy said.

She said it is important to live in the now.

"We can let go of the idea that holidays are about presents and traveling, and just enjoy the time with family and friends that you do have," Cassidy said. "Keep doing what you're doing because you are surviving."