For most of us the holidays are filled with joy, happiness and a sense of anticipation. Many of us reflect on the past year, count our blessings and spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately for a considerable number of people, this time of year can bring unwanted stress, anxiety or depression. These could be people without a family or who have recently lost a loved one. They could be individuals who are unemployed or are without a significant network of friends. They can be individuals who have had a negative holiday experience in the past with friends and family. There are many reasons one can feel stress or depression during the holidays. Just know you are not alone!!!
Below are tips for surviving stress, anxiety and depression during the holidays:
•If you have recently lost a loved one through death or divorce know that it is OK to grieve. Acknowledge your feelings. Remember you can’t force yourself to be happy during the holidays.
•If you are feeling isolated or lonely-REACH OUT! Guarantee you are not alone. Many individuals find companionship and support in community, religious, or other social events.
•Volunteer! Many people feel an immense satisfaction in volunteering their time…. plus it is a great way to make friends!
•Family feuds can definitely make the holidays stressful. If you can, try to accept family members and friends as they are. Remember they may be feeling the effects of the holiday as well. If you are unable to set aside differences think of an alternate plan which will help lower your anxiety and stress.
•Make sure you budget your time and your finances. Stress, anxiety and depression can quickly come about when you’re trying to do everything in a small amount of time or when you are spending money you don’t have.
•Everyone knows the holidays are filled with big meals and yummy goodies! Remember to make healthy choices when eating. This can lessen your stress and anxiety.
•Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Feeling physically good will help you feel mentally good.
•Take time for yourself. Go for a walk, listen to music, go for a drive; do something for you! Everyone needs time to themselves to gather their thoughts and “recharge”.
•Remember everyone experiences some sort of stress, anxiety or depression in their lifetime. You are not alone. If you feel you need to talk to a professional, do it- Don’t wait! There are many services out who can provide help.
- Pasadena Mental Health Center (626) 798-0907
- Public Guardian (213) 974-0515
- Crisis Hotline 1 (877) 727-4747
- Information/ Referrals (800) 854-7771
If you would like more information on Coping with Stress, Anxiety and Depression during the Holidays, please visit www.mayoclinic.com. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Altadena Sheriff Station at 626-798-1131.