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Beating the Holiday Blues

With the holiday season upon us, make sure to take care of yourself first – it should always be your number one priority! As we know, the holiday season isn’t for everyone, since seasonal factors such as changes in diet or routines, parties, and the over-commercialization or the inability to be with loved ones can trigger the ‘holiday blues’.

Some of symptoms include fatigue, frustration, sadness, loneliness, and/or a sense of loss.

Here are some tips and ways to manage your holiday blues this year:

  1. Soak up the sun as much as you can
    With less sunlight, exposure to artificial lighting (or bright lights in general) such as fluorescent lights can help ease some of the symptoms.
  2. Don’t rely on drugs and alcohol
    Family gatherings or even having fun with your friends you haven’t seen in ages can be both physically and mentally taxing. Nevertheless, do your best to avoid drugs and/or alcohol related activities, because studies show that there is a 20% overlap between people with anxiety or mood disorders and substance use disorders, and substances can exacerbate symptoms.
  3. Stay in therapy
    Exams, planning trips or gatherings, the financial burden of the holiday season can all heighten anxiety factors. With a packed calendar, it makes it harder to balance everyday responsibilities and self-care. But avoid cancelling therapy sessions. Remember your mental wellness comes first!
  4. Take time for yourself
    Whether it be watching your favorite TV shows or listening to music, it’s important to stick to your regular routine as much as you can. But do so without completely isolating yourself. Also, get plenty of sleep!

Remember, you don’t have to fight your battles alone.