Sokaogon Chippewa Community News
Health Center Announcements
With the holidays upon us, it’s a good time to discuss holiday blues. Though the holidays are generally seen as a time of happiness, they may also bring other emotions such as grief, loneliness, anxiety and depression.
This may happen for a variety of reasons, and even people who usually enjoy the holidays may feel the blues. We may reflect and miss those who are no longer with us. Some of us may feel unrealistic expectations of how the holiday “should” be, such as attending family gatherings, social events, and the expectation to feel only joy and cheer with the over commercialization of the holiday.
Some may experience financial stress due to overextending their budget or struggling to afford gifts for others. There may be increased feelings of isolation and loneliness due to not being with family, being incarcerated or having a family member incarcerated, or being ill and unable to visit family or friends. Some may have an additional component of seasonal affective disorder or low vitamin D levels, further inhibiting feelings of joy and inclusion.
There are some healthy coping strategies that may help with holiday blues, such as setting boundaries and having realistic expectations of how much you can do or afford. Find some time for self-care, get enough rest, and take care of yourself as well as others. Try not to isolate – it’s important to reach out to others for even small amounts of healthy social interaction.
Often the holidays are a time of increased alcohol use during celebrations. Alcohol may add to the holiday blues, as it is a depressant, so limit alcohol use. Overall, some stress is normal around the holidays, but if you find yourself feeling increased symptoms that just don’t seem to get better over time, or if you are struggling to function as you normally do, please reach out for help.
You may want to talk to your medical provider or call for behavioral health services. It is always a good idea to let someone know how you are feeling, and to seek healthy support and encouragement. The mental health crisis line is available 24/7 at 1-888-299-1188, the national number of 988, or text “HELP” to 741741 anytime.