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Can You Beat the Holiday Blues?

The holidays can be a time of joy, happiness, and celebration, but for some, it’s a time of sadness and even depression. Holiday blues can affect men and women of all ages, and can have a number of causes: increased stress, family misunderstandings or conflict, unresolved grief, financial burden, and fatigue. But there are ways to decrease or even prevent the holiday blues.

It is important to establish realistic expectations for the holiday season. Remember that the holidays will not eliminate sadness or loneliness, and might make these feelings stronger. Take advantage of social support during this time with family and friends by expressing your feelings openly rather than ignoring them. Planning ahead is also a way to decrease stress during this hectic time. It may be helpful to develop a calendar of specific events, although it’s important to remember to schedule some time for quiet relaxation.

The holiday blues are usually a temporary and seasonal occurrence; however, there may be an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Depression is a serious yet treatable condition. Remember that there is help available in your community through crisis lines, support groups, community mental health centers, and private practitioners.

Get more tips on coping with stress and depression during the holidays online at:

Mental Health America: Holiday Depression and Stress
http://www.nmha.org/index.cfm?objectid=C7DF954D-1372-4D20-C80ED0A7AB69D250

National Institutes of Health Senior Health: Depression
http://nihseniorhealth.gov/depression/toc.html

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Last Modified: 12/31/1600

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