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Coping with the Holiday Blues

Coping with the Holiday Blues

The holidays can be a very stressful time of year for people of all ages and in turn, can trigger anxiety and depression. The roads are hectic, there’s numerous parties and family gatherings to attend, and not to mention wallets are tight are there are gifts to buy. There are a number of elements that can add to the holiday blues such as finances, loneliness, grief and estrangement, among many others.

There is also something commonly known as SAD, which many people experience, and stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Women are typically at at a higher risk than men to experience seasonal depression and after heart disease, depression is the most debilitating illness among women, while it is tenth for men.

Managing seasonal depression or holiday blues can be difficult, but here are some ways you can cope:

  1. 1. Plan accordingly and in advance. Uncertain plans can cause enormous stress, so make sure you have your holiday plan to know what you are doing and whom you are doing it with, to keep this easy. It also makes saying “no” to unwanted, last minute invitations easier and can better mentally prepare you for gatherings.
  2. 2. Shop early! Do not save your Christmas shopping for the week before Christmas as this alone can cause incredible stress. Not only will you be spending all of your money at once, but you will be fighting with the other last minute shoppers on the road and in stores.
  3. 3. Ask for help. It’s common for women to think they have to do everything on their own – getting your family and children involved in tasks like cooking, baking and wrapping can make things fun and fast!
  4. 4. Make sure you take some time to rest – this will give you more energy. Try to aim for couple of hours at least one day a week where you can spend time doing things you love that will help keep you in a positive mind set.

Signs of depression are feelings of sadness, worthless or guilt, crying, loss of interest in usual activities, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, irritability, social withdrawal and changes in weight or appetite. If you experience these symptoms and if they last beyond the holiday blues, please seek professional help.

Here is a link of emergency contacts on island resources to consider.