Tips on How to Cope with Seasonal Depression and Stress
CAMP SPRINGS, MD – Not everyone’s holiday season is filled with joy, excitement, increased social gatherings and optimism for the New Year. For some the holiday season can be a difficult time of year filled with loneliness, fatigue, sadness and even stress and anxiety about what the New Year will bring. These symptoms often occur around the holiday season and are known as the “holiday blues.” For those suffering from seasonal depression and stress Maryland 2-1-1 provides free, 24-hour counseling during difficult times. 2-1-1 is staffed by professionals who quickly assess the callers’ needs and refer them to agencies or resources to assist them or family members who are struggling with emotional issues.
Although many people become depressed during the holiday season, people who tend to suffer from depression and anxiety can experience an increase in their symptoms during this time of year. Also, there are even more people who suffer from the post-holiday blues, experiencing symptoms of depression after the holidays are over. The National Mental Health Association states that “recognizing the potential sources of the holiday blues”, which may vary by individual, “can better help you identify ways to cope during this holiday season”. The following is a list of tips for recognizing symptoms and basic ways of coping with the holiday blues:
- Keep expectations for the holiday season manageable by not trying to make the holiday “the best ever.” Try to set realistic goals for yourself. Pace yourself. Organize your time. Make a list and prioritize the most important activities. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Do not spend too much time preparing for just one day (Christmas).
- Do something for someone else. It is an old remedy, but it can help. Try volunteering some time to help others.
- Don’t drink too much. Excessive drinking will only make you more depressed.
- Spend time with people who are supportive and care about you. Make new friends if you are alone during special times. Contact someone you have lost touch with.
- Find time for yourself! Don’t spend all your time providing activities for your family and friends.
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The 2-1-1 database has information on more than 7000 agencies and programs across the state of Maryland. 2-1-1 is staffed by professionals who handle thousands of calls from people in need and family members who may be dealing with stress or depression and in need of assistance. Maryland 2-1-1 also provides referrals to many other County and regional services including rental assistance, food banks, affordable housing resources, childcare, after-school programs, elderly care, financial literacy and job training programs. 2-1-1 is funded through local and state sources including, the United Way and other nonprofits, foundations, and businesses. This free service operates 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, in over 200 languages.