Often dubbed "the most wonderful time of the year," the holiday season is supposed to be one of merriment and magic. But for many, the weeks from Thanksgiving to New Year are rife with stress, anxiety and depression.

According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 44 percent of women and 33 percent of men reported feeling stressed during the holidays. The season may be even more challenging for those with a diagnosed mental illness. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reported about 24 percent of people with a diagnosed mental illness find the holidays make their condition "a lot" worse. Almost half, 40 percent, report their condition is "somewhat" worse during the "happiest time of the year."

"The holiday season can touch on many areas of stress in a person's life—financial stress, as well as relationship or family stress," said Julie Geeting, LPC, an NCC counselor and coach at PALM Health. "There's often an increase in expectations, an increase in focusing on what others are doing, higher demands at work and overall time commitments. And in