How to cope with holiday depression

How to cope with holiday depression
Published: Nov. 27, 2013 at 12:14 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 27, 2013 at 6:14 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The holidays are here again, and for some comes the blues.  Many people experience increased stress and depression around the holiday season.

It could be something right in front of you that's causing you to feel down.

"People in the media make a business of managing the emotions of all of us in the public," says Columbus Regional psychologist Dr. Albert Eaton.

In movies and commercials, it seems everywhere you look, it's buy these, sing this, and look like that.

"It's a really challenging time for people because they have these expectations about the holidays," comments Dr. Eaton.

Eaton says an unrealistic view of what life should be sends many into a downward spiral towards depression.

"Everything's got to be perfect; perfect gifts, perfect food, perfect clothes, perfect everything," says Dr. Eaton.

Eaton explains there are several other triggers.

"Family gatherings; everybody gets back together and sometimes people have lots of old family issues that now it's an opportunity to fix or to make worse," Dr. Eaton says.

Not having family at all can play a major role in feelings of loneliness. Dr. Eaton also says memories of loved ones who've passed on and Anniversary's.

In some cases it's possible to pull yourself out of the funk and into the Holiday cheer.

"Get out and find some people that do the things you like to do," Dr. Eaton proclaims.

Other ways to cope: reach out; volunteer and attend social events whenever possible.

Remember to be realistic; the holidays don't have to be perfect.

Take a few moments to breathe; slowing down can reduce stress and seek help. If you can't seem to pull yourself together it may be time to seek professional help.

"It's a hard time of year for people who have lost significant things," Dr. Eaton says. "A lot of people have lost work, some are under-employed, changed employment or they've had to move and those are always really stressful things for people and the holidays just add to that."

Eaton says anyone can be affected by the holiday blues whether directly or indirectly.

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