Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Blues

The holiday season isn't necessarily a happy one for many people. I know, I am one of them. There are many reasons. The shorter days are often overcast and gray rather than sunny. Snowy or ice-covered sidewalks and roads make it difficult to get around, plus having to don all that extra gear... besides it’s cold. Other reasons include Christmas is coming and I can’t give all the things I would love to gift my favorite people, there are those who are gone from my life whom I miss, and it is all too stressful. Many people have more compelling reasons for depression, such as loneliness, isolation, failing health, and family or financial problems.

While mine is a mild case of the blues, others are more severely afflicted. If your depression affects your daily life and work, please get professional help. Even if only mild like mine, you might want to seek help.

There are also things you can do to help yourself and others in your family get through the holidays. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or depression caused by seasonal changes in day length, can be helped by mild exercise and getting outside even for a few minutes every day. There are full spectrum lamps that can provide relief. If your problem is with family members who upset you, don’t feel guilty about keeping face-to-face occasions limited. Be with people you like and who like you for the holidays. Don’t over plan entertainment and family get-togethers. Before shopping, have a sensible spending limit set for holiday gifts. Lastly, don't try to achieve the ‘perfect’ holiday, keep your expectations within realistic anticipation.

So, what you do to make your holiday more enjoyable? I'm always looking for better ways to survive the season.


1 comment:

Swimming Kangaroo said...

When we lived in upstate New York they had just started diagnosing seasonal affective disorder. I remember the sense of relief i felt at knowing there was a name for what I suffered every winter and it wasn't just my imagination. As soon as my husband left the military, we came back down south, in part because of my S.A.D.

My advice to you would be to relax. You don't have to do everything. Many times the post-holiday let down contributes to S.A.D. If you keep your holiday low key and spread it out over several days, it makes things much easier.