It’s hard to believe that another holiday season is already upon us. Happy Hanukkah to our friends and neighbors who are celebrating the festival of lights - may it be a time of joy and happiness for you and your whole family.
While the holiday season is a favorite time of year for many, for others it can be a time of great stress or even sadness. If you find yourself facing the holidays with reluctance and trepidation, there are ways to cope.
If you find yourself dealing with depression during the holiday season – or any time of year – Orange County Commissioner of Mental Health, Darcie Miller, offers this advice:
• Try to be active and exercise. Go to a movie, a ballgame, or another event or activity that you once enjoyed.
• Set realistic goals.
• Divide large tasks into small ones, set some priorities and do what you can as you can.
• Try to spend time with other people; try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
• Expect your mood to improve gradually – don’t expect to suddenly snap out of depression.
• Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced or changing jobs, until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
• Remember that positive thinking will replace negative thoughts as your depression responds to treatment.
• Continue to educate yourself about depression and don’t wait too long to get evaluated or treated. There is research showing the longer one waits, the greater the impairment can become. Try to see a professional as soon as possible.
To help you keep the holidays happy, Dr. Jean Hudson, Orange County Commissioner of Health, offers these tips:
• Keep your commitments in check – don’t overbook yourself.
• Take time to balance work and play.
• Turn to family and friends for help and support - you don’t have to do it all yourself.
• Maintain a relaxed, positive outlook.
• Eat right, exercise, and get plenty of sleep.
Until next week, I wish you good health and happiness, and may your holiday season be merry and bright.