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Handling the Holiday "Blues"

The holidays can be a time of great celebration, time with families, and happiness, but for some, the holidays are a time when many experience "the blues." The blues can result from many causes such as stress, fatigue, and loneliness. Feeling thi...

The holidays can be a time of great celebration, time with families, and happiness, but for some, the holidays are a time when many experience "the blues." The blues can result from many causes such as stress, fatigue, and loneliness. Feeling this way can make it difficult to enjoy this time of year because of head-aches, difficulty sleeping, and feelings of depression. The following are a few tips to make the season a little more manageable and less stressful.

Be realistic. Take a step back and identify where you are spending most of your time. Organize your time so that you can prioritize your most important activities. Do not over-commit yourself.

Try something new. The holidays can be focused on tradition, but many times this can raise feelings of depression and sadness if the circumstances are no longer the same. Find enjoyment out of creating a new tradition and look at the big picture!

If you have had a loss, talk about it. There will be pain and grief, but you have the power not to dwell on these feelings. Even though the feelings may be there, you can choose not to express them.

The following are some great tips to avoid the holiday blues and enjoy the time of year!

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Enjoy simple activities like driving around and looking at Christmas lights.

Focus on children. Children can bring great amounts of joy and excitement!

Spend the holidays with those who you know care about you. They will provide the love and support you might need.

Do not drink too much. Excessive drinking increases feelings of depression which can increase the blues.

It is important to remember that you are not alone in your feelings. Research has shown that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is to blame for many feeling depressed over the holidays. SAD happens as a result of fewer hours of sunlight, and darker, dreary days. Being that we live in northern Minnesota, it is easy to understand how SAD can easily affect us.

The holiday "blues" and depression are treatable conditions. The Human Development Center is a great resource for more information. Their Web site is www.hdchrc.com . On their site, they offer a free self-assessment for depression. It is anonymous, and designed to help you decide whether a professional consultation would be helpful to you. At the end of the screening, you will be able to print your results to take into a clinician if you decide to.

If you are interested in finding out more information on depression, you can call their Cloquet location at 218-879-4559. If you are in immediate need of help, please call 1-800-634-8775.

This article is sponsored by the Carlton County Suicide Prevention Task Force.

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