Dealing with the Holiday Blues

I saw this article in Medical News Today

Most of the article is about defining, diagnosing,and treating anxiety disorders; however, this portion of the article I thought would be good bit of information to post. This deals with the "holiday Blues"; not what we would call major or clinical depression or anxiety disorder; but rather situations that cause grief and stress in our lives.

Many of us as we enter the holiday season have such high expectations of how we are "supposed" to feel joy unspeakable, happiness and glee that often our inability to meet these self imposed expectations can cause us some anxiety and depression. For "minor' cases of anxiety and depression what we might call "situational" depression or anxiety, we can learn what triggers these episodes, and learn to change our thinking. Maybe lower the expectations - who says we have to be elated during the holidays? Especially during one of the worst recessions most of us have ever experienced. If your anxiety is a bit more than minor, you have been treated by a medical doctor in the past, you need to tell your doctor about the possibility of an episode coming on, or ask him/her to help you deal with the "triggers" of these attacks.

Following are some "tips" from the article to avoid and "stave off" minor anxiety:

Things to consider:
  • Learn to manage stress in your life. Keep an eye on pressures and deadlines, and commit to taking time away from study or work. Teach yourself to laugh and trick your brain into producing more serotonin.  
  • Learn a variety of relaxation techniques. Information about physical relaxation methods and meditation techniques can be found in book stores and health food shops.  
  • Practice deep abdominal breathing. This consists of breathing in deeply and slowly through your nose, taking the air right down to your abdomen, and then breathing out slowly and gently through your mouth. Breathing deeply for too long may lead to dizziness from the extra oxygen.  
  • Learn to replace "negative self talk" with "coping self talk." Make a list of the negative thoughts you have, and write a list of positive, believable thoughts to replace them. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.  
  • Picture yourself successfully facing and conquering a specific fear.  
  • Talk with a person who is supportive.  
  • Meditate, Exercise.  
  • Take a long, warm bath.  
  • Rest in a dark room.
  • Go to your religious services, you will find hope and a support group.
  • Go contribute time to charity and homeless shelters-you will find many reasons to be grateful for what you have and it is more blessed to give than receive - which should be the purpose of the seasons.
  • Start looking at the holidays as a time to make someone Else's life joyful and take the attention off of your life. This is sometimes referred to as Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

 To read the rest of this article click here on Dealing with the Holiday Blues

This article is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical or psychiatric illness and is for informational purposes only