15-Dec-14 11:00 AM  CST

How to Fight the Holiday Blues

Its that time of year again. Time when we celebrate life, family, and an endless list of festivities and traditions related to the season. While many of us look forward to celebrating the season all year long, for some the holidays bring overwhelming sadness and despair. Holiday depression and anxiety are very real for those who live within its grip. It is not uncommon for us all to feel a little down when the holidays roll around, too much to do, children growing older, traditions falling to the wayside, but for some the depression and anxiety are far too much to bare during the holidays.

Experts believe there are a number of contributing factors associated with the despair and anxiety some feel during the holidays, unrealistic expectations and financial stressors are common reasons why anxiety may get ramped up during the holidays. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may also be responsible for the increase for depression during the holidays. SAD is a depression disorder associated with the coming winter season. Many researchers believe SAD can be directly linked back to a decrease of natural sunlight often felt during the winter months, particularly in the Northern and Northeastern regions of the United States where daylight is decreased during the winter months.

Since many of the events centered around the holidays are geared towards social interaction those who are not socially active may also be a greater risk for depression and anxiety during the holidays. So how can you avoid the holiday blue? Experts say to set realistic goals for yourself as well as setting financial goals and limits. Try to expose yourself to as much natural sunlight as possible, although this may be difficult at times during the months of winter, sunlight has been proven to help with the symptoms of depression. Finally, interact with others. The holidays are a time to be social and interaction with other may help ward off the holiday blues.

 

 

 

 

References:

MayoClinic, (2014) “Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping”, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544, retrieved 14.December 2014

Stoppler, M., (2014)“Holiday depression, anxiety and stress” MedicineNet, http://www.medicinenet.com/holiday_depression_and_stress/article.htm, retrieved, 14.December 2014

 


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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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