Battling Holiday Blues: Ways to Cope

This time of year, folks can easily get overwhelmed with frustration and emotion. It’s not always a time full of joy and merriment for everyone.

For those who have lost a loved one in the past year, gone through a breakup or moved to a new city, the holidays can be emotionally rough.

There are some simple steps you can take to better cope.

Counselors said most importantly, you should ask for help and talk to someone if you feel the holidays getting the best of you.

“Around the holidays we are all more vulnerable because we think of past holidays,” Leigh Richardson of the Brain Performance Center in Dallas said.

“What I encourage people to do is to start their new traditions,” Richardson added. “[Find] what’s important to you and what’s important to your family and focus on those things instead of comparing it to last year’s Christmas.”

Counselors said you can also volunteer to help those who are less fortunate. Spreading some goodwill can go a long way to lifting your mood.

You should also be aware of what counselors call ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts).

“Reach out if you need some help. If you are feeling a little anxious or you are feeling a little down – reach out to your family and your friends and let them know,” Richardson said. You’d be surprised what people will come back with.”

It is also easy to get stressed dealing with holiday gift giving and what we have on our “must do” lists and worried about not being able to afford certain gifts.

“We want to do everything. We want to give everything to everybody,” Richardson said. “We get all that going in our head and that really leaves us sometimes in a depressed or an anxious state.”

Counselors suggest focusing on the moments you spend with your friends and family and not the money you spend.

If you or someone you know ever needs help, it is available 24/7 on the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text the crisis text line by texting "TALK" to 741-741.

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