The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for many, the winter season can usher in feelings of sadness or even depression. There are many reasons for the “holiday blues,” including:
- High levels of stress and anxiety
- Family conflicts
- Lack of a strong social network
- Financial pressures
Did you know exercise is one of the best mood lifters?
Exercise and a healthy diet are key. By eating a healthy diet, you will feel better and have more energy. Take plenty of time for sleep too. It’s important to take care of yourself. The holidays tend to throw everybody’s schedule off, limiting time for things you may normally do on a regular basis.
Here are some other things that may make you feel better:
- Spend time with a support system. Family or friends, spend time with those who lift your spirits.
- Keep it simple. Don’t feel pressured to make the biggest meal, give the most presents or go to every party you were invited to.
- Get help if you need it. It’s normal to get a little down around the holidays, but if you notice these blues come back each year, it may be seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD usually extends through the holidays and lifts around the spring when the days get longer. (1)
What should you look for if you think you have SAD?
- Symptoms of depression such as fatigue, low self-esteem, loss of interest in normal activities and withdrawal from family and friends
- Weight gain and cravings for carbohydrates, especially sweet and starchy foods
- Oversleeping or trouble waking up in the morning
Contact your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. Getting outside when it’s light or sitting by a window may help.
The holiday stress may be inevitable, so let us help work it out. Contact us to get started!
- “Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)”. Accessed 16, November 2016. Mayoclinic.org. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047
- Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net