Holiday depression can affect both men and women, young and old. Factors include increased stress and fatigue, unrealistic expectations, too much commercialization, and the inability to be with one’s family. The increased demands of shopping, parties, family reunions, and house guests may also contribute. Common complaints include headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating or not eating enough, and difficulty sleeping.
Emotional disappointments, physical reactions caused by excess fatigue and stress, can cause and intensify holiday depression. Hospitals report increased mental health emergencies during and after the holidays.
Some suggestions to offset the holiday blues:
1. Try to set realistic goals and pace yourself. Organize your time and prioritize.
2. Let go of the past. Life brings changes. Embrace the future, and don’t dwell that the “good old days” are gone but reminiscent good life changing events.
3. Volunteer and help others who have less than you do. It will make You feel better.
4. Avoid alcohol. Excessive drinking will only increase feelings of depression.
5. Spend time with supportive, caring people. Reach out and talk to a close friend or family member, your minister or spiritual adviser, your physician, or a professional counselor.
6. Very important. Ask For Help. If despite your best efforts to remain upbeat during and after the holiday season, you find yourself feeling down for a sustained period of time, GET HELP. Don’t try to “tough it out” alone. Depression is a real illness however there are natural supplements and lifestyle changes that can help. Call 321-549-0711 for more information.
7. My personal favorite. Spend some quiet time with God, remember what the season is all about and Pray.
Dr. Kevin Kilday is a Certified Pastoral Counselor and a Natural Health Doctor experienced in Natural modalities for mental and physical health.