Coping with the 'holiday blues'

Adults should also be aware of children displaying signs of the holiday blues, such as sleeping more and isolating themselves.

Amanda Aguilar Image
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Coping with the 'holiday blues'
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If the bright lights don't get you into the spirit of the holiday season, you're not alone.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The holiday season can bring joy to some -- and sadness to others.

If the bright lights don't get you into the spirit of the holiday season, you're not alone.

The "holiday blues" can make this season not the most wonderful time of the year for some.

"With the weather changes, less sunlight throughout the day, shorter days, more responsibilities, the chaos of getting everything together-- I think all of that contributes to the holiday blues," explained Dr. Vivian Torio, with Kaiser Permanente Fresno.

According to a 2014 study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 24% of people diagnosed with a mental illness find holidays make their condition "a lot" worse.

However, Dr. Torio says everyone can experience it, and there are several ways to cope with the feelings of depression, anxiety or stress.

This includes staying active, going outside and eating healthy.

"If you just put healthy things in your body, try to focus on doing things that make you feel good -- that should get you through the holiday blues pretty easily," she said.

Dr. Torio also suggests not overextending yourself financially when it comes to gift-giving, even more so now that inflation is driving up prices.

"Stick to your budget so that you don't feel more stressed or overwhelmed," she said.

Adults should also be aware of children displaying signs of the holiday blues, such as sleeping more and isolating themselves.

"We know that being on the electronics does something to their mind," said Dr. Torio. "Force them to get outside, have family time, have a routine, have dinner together."

The good thing about the holiday blues is it only lasts throughout the holidays, but if your symptoms are only getting worse, reach out for help.

"If you notice that your symptoms last for a prolonged period of time, like you just can't get stuff done, you're not performing at work, that might be a sign of depression, and not holiday blues," Dr. Torio said. "Please reach out to your doctor."

If you or someone you know is need of support -- help is available. You can call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.