Dealing with the blues

Managing depression.

November 16, 2015 - Author: Gretchen Stelter, Michigan State University Extension

The holiday season is upon us. One is at their favorite store and it is decorated for the season. Many of us say it is invigorating and exciting, but there are many individuals that may feel “blue or down” this time of year. It can be due to such short days of sunlight, not enough activity, eating too much, or worried and are sadden by bills, or love ones that are ill or being afflicted by chronic pain.

Feelings of sadness, are perfectly normal when you are dealing with a stressful problem. All of the above, stress, pain, worries lead to stress and anxiety. They can even lead to frustration and anger which in turn can lead to depression. Depression is a vicious cycle: stress and anxiety leads to difficult emotions, depression, fatigue, pain, tense muscles, restricted movement and poor breathing which again leads to stress and the cycle begins once again.

Setting realistic goals everyday will keep you active and feeling that you have accomplished things. Exercise, relaxation, sleeping well, and choosing healthy foods to eat, will help break the cycle of depression

The following are some suggestions for dealing with the season and what one may consider the “blues”.

  • Allow time for yourself: Do something for you each day. It could be a walk, take a class or even color with the children: the important thing is to keep active!
  • Take pride in your appearance: Take the time to be well yourself so you feel good about yourself
  • Have a good laugh: Norman Cousins, Anatomy of an Illness wrote about the benefits of humor and laughing and in healing our bodies and minds.
  • Slow down: Life can be hectic. Don’t overschedule. Pace yourself and your family’s activities and commitments.
  • Watch your alcohol intake: Alcohol is a downer and it will create more problems on the cycle of the blues.

Remember “the blues” or depression during the holidays can be controlled by making healthy choices for yourself, but you do not need to suffer depression. If the above tips don’t help, Michigan State University Extension recommends that you seek professional help.

Tags: chronic disease, food & health, healthy relationships, msu extension

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