Holiday blues can affect anyone! 55% of all people will experience feelings of anxiety or depression during the holiday season; 75% of Gen Zers, 64% of Millennials, 50% of Gen Xers, 39% of Baby Boomers.*
If you already live with a mental health condition or disorder it’s time to take extra care to tend to your overall health and wellness during the holidays as 64% of people living with a mental heath disorder say they are affected and 24% say the holidays affect them a lot.**
Additional stress, unrealistic expectations and sentimental memories can be a trigger for the holiday blues. Some people have feelings of loneliness, sadness, fatigue, tension and a sense of loss.
Many factors can contribute to the holiday blues such as, less sunlight, changes in your diet or routine, alcohol at parties, over-commercialization or the inability to be with friends or family. All of these can seriously affect your mood.
Feelings might include: fatigue, tension, frustration, loneliness or isolation, sadness, or a sense of loss. The difference between holiday blues and clinical anxiety or depression is that the feelings are temporary however short term problems must still be taken seriously because unresolved they can lead to long-term mental health conditions.
However, there are certain things you can do to help avoid the holiday blues. Ken Duckworth, M.D., NAMI’s medical director, shares advice for managing your health—both mental and physical—during the holiday season.**
Tips for avoiding the holiday blues:**
1. Stick to normal routines as much as possible.
2. Get enough sleep.
3. Take time for yourself, but don’t isolate yourself. Spend time with supportive, caring people.
4. Eat and drink in moderation. Don’t drink alcohol if you were feeling down.
5. Get exercise – even if it’s only taking a short walk.
6. Make a to do list. Keep things simple.
7. Set reasonable expectations and goals for holiday activities such as shopping, cooking, entertaining, attending parties or sending holiday cards.
8. Set a budget for holiday activities. Don’t overextend yourself financially in buying presents.
9. Listen to music or find other ways to relax.
Remember the holiday blues or short term. Be patient take things week by week or day by day.
Learn more at http://www.nami.org/holiday blues
*Source: ValuePenguin Dec. 2021
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