Organization offers 'Holiday Hope' for holiday blues - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Organization offers 'Holiday Hope' for holiday blues

(WTVM) -

With Thanksgiving just behind us and Christmas quickly approaching, therapists at the Columbus Pastoral Institute say it's common for people to suffer from the Holiday Blues this time of year, making it hard to enjoy the things that would normally make one happy. 

People grieving the loss of a parent, grandparent or even child have a really hard time trying to accept spending the holidays without them.

Another common trigger is when people who can't afford to buy gifts for their entire family can tend to feel inadequate which can lead to isolation and even depression. 

Bobby McGowan, a therapist at the Pastoral institute in Columbus, says if you are starting to feel blue there is one thing you should remember.

"You have a choice of scheduling things as you would like for them to be," McGowan said.  

Traditional holiday activities often promote; overeating, over drinking, over spending, a lack of exercise and a lack of sleep - all which can contribute to one feeling down. 

If you've suffered a major loss, this is the time of year when it hits the hardest. McGowan says holidays are a time when we're with family so accepting someone you love is no longer with you for your Thanksgiving or Christmas celebration can be hard. 

"It's not unusual for this time of year for people to remember a lot of the losses that have taken place in their life especially if they've taken place this last year or two," says McGowan. 

If you think you have the holiday blues, the Mayo Clinic recommends acknowledging your feelings and reaching out to others to talk about how you feel.

Be realistic when it comes to holiday commitments and giving gifts and also, stick to a budget. Learn to say no and do not abandon healthy habits just because it's the holidays. 

A lot of times people feel obligated to travel or host for the holidays even if they can't afford it, so one suggestion from the Pastoral Institute is to just take some time for yourself and seek counseling if needed. 

If you're struggling specifically with the loss of a loved one this year, the Pastoral Institute is holding a free seminar called Holiday Hope at the Pastoral Institute Community Room 2022 15th Ave. on Sunday, Dec. 6 from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

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