Natural Ways To Lighten The Holiday Blues From Amy Myers, MD
The holiday season is a time of celebrations and giving. It’s festive, bright, and joyful, yet for some people, this season has also been known to bring on the blues. The days are shorter, time and money can be tight, and those without a strong support network may feel pangs of loneliness. However, you don’t have to succumb to the holiday blues. Today I’ll share my top 7 tips to keep your mood on the upswing, including how to incorporate adaptogenic herbs into your wellness routine, and how a community of like-minded individuals will help combat negative feelings during the holidays so that your holiday lights aren’t put out by any “Bah Humbug.”
Feeling Like Scrooge: Stress and Depression
The holiday season is a great time of year to spend with and be thankful for friends and family members, however, there are often additional stressors such as financial pressure, social obligations, spending enough time with family, friends, and acquaintances (maybe even people you aren’t fond of), and the usual concerns like work and bills.
While the holidays don’t last, the stress they cause may have an impact on the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which affects how a person processes information and manages their emotional response.1 Whether chronic or acute, stress can lead to depression in those who are more susceptible to major depressive disorder.2 People with anxiety disorders, or who experience panic attacks, should also practice extra self-care at this time of year.
A sense of loss and depression have been known to increase during the holidays, especially in those already diagnosed with a mental illness.3Although holiday depression differs from mental illness, short-term mental health disturbances can lead to clinical anxiety and depression.4 Individuals, families, and friends should know to watch out for symptoms of a worsening condition.
If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained crisis workers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You may have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a seasonal pattern of recurrent major depressive episodes.5 SAD is categorized as a form of major depressive disorder which tends to strike in the fall and winter months. You can read more about here. People with SAD should seek medical advice from their healthcare provider if it seems to be progressing into something more serious.
If you are combatting a simple case of the holiday blues, then read on for the best tips for coping with these lows so that you can be a part of the holiday fun and enjoy social situations.
7 Natural Ways to Banish the Blues
Instead of giving in to feelings of loneliness and turning to sedentary activities that will negatively impact your health, try these seven natural and healthy ways to lighten the holiday blues and avoid stressful situations.
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