Healthy Living: Dealing with the holiday blues

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With so much to do the holidays can be stressful, and this year could be more difficult due to the ongoing pandemic. This is especially true for people who are already dealing with anxiety or depression.

According to mental health experts, there are things we can all do to prevent or cope with a case of the holiday blues.

"Being consistent with whatever activities you normally do - keep them up as much as possible. They may have to be shortened but still keeping that routine will give ourselves a sense of control over the situation and ultimately over our emotions too," said Andree Miceli, clinical director of behavioral health, Regence BlueShield. "Practice saying no. It’s physically and emotionally impossible to do everything and attend every event when you are being pulled in many different directions it is perfectly ok to say ‘no.’ That’s just part of self-care."

The holidays are celebrated as a time of joy and love, but the season can also make people feel anxious, sad and even lonely.  So what can you do to stay positive this holiday season?

"First and foremost we have to put ourselves first. I think women especially have the propensity to take care of everybody else before themselves and can start to feel overwhelmed and sometimes even resentful." Said Miceli. "We have to take care of ourselves first so that we can be better equipped and physically and mentally ready to tackle the holidays."

Experts say you should try to give back to others and stay connected. Look for ways to enjoy social connections even if you can’t go home for the holidays. If you are feeling lonely, call a friend or family member, and say hello to your neighbors.

And if your social anxiety or depression isn’t going away or if you think it is getting worse, it could be time to get help. 

Virtual visits can be a great way to get a diagnosis and treatment, if needed, and if you have a healthcare plan, check your benefits online or call customer service to find out how mental health care is covered.

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