10 Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues
his time of the year, it is very easy to go into seasonal depression. With the hustle and bustle of shopping, Christmas lights and decor, the variety of foods, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and to isolate oneself from family and friends.
Perhaps you even feel hopeless, alone, and unworthy. Not to mention, the loss of friends and close family members that you were used to spending time with can compound feeling down.
If you have been feeling this way lately, or know someone that has, there is help to beat the holiday blues.
- Recognize and acknowledge changes in your mood such as low energy, no drive or motivation to do things, increased sadness, diet changes or sleep disturbance. Seek assistance from your primary care provider or therapist.
- Plan something pleasant for yourself each day and force yourself out.
- Consume wisely, eliminate alcohol, eat fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water.
- Surround yourself with positive family and friends.
- Don’t spend and shop impulsively.
- Exercise and engage in enjoyable activities.
- Replace negative thoughts with thoughts of gratitude.
- Give to a charitable cause.
- If you start having suicidal thoughts with an active plan, call the suicide hotline number at 1-800-273-8255, call 911 or get someone to take you to the local emergency department.
- If you have experienced the loss of loved ones and are still grieving, repeat the above steps, take a moment to reflect back on their lives and remember that you matter!
If you notice changes in a friend, family member, church member or coworker, reach out to them:
- Call or send a text just to acknowledge that you are there if needed.
- Sit with them; your presence alone maybe a blessing.
- Offer a ride to his/her primary care provider or therapist.
- Give an encouraging word.
- Say a silent prayer, sometimes without him/her even knowing
- Call the suicide hotline number together, if needed
Tammie Pough is a behavioral health counselor at the HopeHealth Medical Plaza in Florence. She is a graduate of Coker College and earned her master’s of social work from the University of South Carolina.