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Overcoming the Holiday Blues

Thanksgiving will be here soon, as will be several other widely-celebrated holidays such as Christmas, Hanukah and New Year’s; while these celebrations are meant to provide a time of enjoyment for friends and family alike, many will end up instead suffering from severe depression or anxiety during this time.  Many do not realize that the holidays are some of the toughest times around for those who suffer from depression symptoms, and the focus on attaining peace and happiness during the holidays can make the pressure even greater at times.

Being able to overcome the holiday blues can be done in most cases, but it is important to maintain awareness that there are some pre-existing mental health conditions that can be exacerbated by this time of the year. Regardless, here are some quick and useful tips:

  • Don’t try to rebuild a holiday that has happened in the past; traditions are important, but remember that not every holiday can be the same. Holding a holiday to a certain level of expectation can bring on depression symptoms if they do not end up meeting what you had expected.
  • Make sure to allow yourself time to grieve for friends and family members that have passed. It absolutely takes time to heal, and allowing yourself to process the grief makes it easier to come to terms with a loss around the holidays.
  • Try not to over-indulge in the consumption of alcohol or items that can drastically alter one’s mood. Alcohol is known as a depressant, so make sure to drink in moderation and take the time to enjoy the holidays in reason and in good health.
  • Avoid stress when possible: this means planning ahead, taking the time to ensure that you have time, energy and everything else set aside to enjoy family and friends.
  • Practice positive thinking: when feeling a bit blue during the holidays, take some time to reflect on all the blessings in your life, and what you have going for yourself.

Again, always consider that there are potentially deeper issues at hand when depression and anxiety persists. If you find yourself having a difficult time getting out of the holiday blues, consult with a mental health professional to determine if there are further steps to take.

Altogether, the holidays can be an enjoyable time, and when you feel “blue”, consider these pointers to try and bring your spirits up again!

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