Tips for dealing with the holiday blues – NBC Bay Area


As the vacation juggernaut progresses, it’s not uncommon to start feeling stressed or even depressed on what are supposed to be the happiest days of the year. Such feelings are not to be deplored, according to health professionals.

“People often kick each other thinking, ‘Only a loser can be sad on vacation,’ but the reality is, many, many people feel sad on vacation – even before we have (COVID-19) in. confront, “said Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry at Stanford University.

COVID-19 has made normal vacation stressors even more difficult to deal with, and people shouldn’t be too hard on themselves, the professor said.

“It’s a tough time, and it’s been a tough year,” said Humphreys.

While the pandemic has made it more difficult to use some of the coping mechanisms usually recommended by Humphreys, there are still effective ways to deal with the vacation blues, he said.

Connecting with the people you love can be more difficult, but a phone call or a Zoom meeting can make a big difference, the professor said.

A silver lining: “Usually I tell people not to over-schedule, but it’s not as necessary now because Covid has reduced the number of gatherings,” Humphreys said.

In that sense, Kaiser Permanente advises people not to let travel, holiday celebrations, and family reunions interfere with their schedules. Instead, it’s important to get regular sleep and exercise and limit alcohol, according to Kaiser’s “Quick Tips: Reducing Holiday Stress” website.

Another good strategy is to research community or religious events, according to the Mayo Clinic. Online support groups or virtual events can provide support and companionship.

Volunteering or doing something to help others is also a good way to boost morale and expand friendships, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Holidays can sometimes trigger depression, according to Kaiser, and no one should feel embarrassed about asking for help.

“Talk to your doctor about advice and medication for depression,” suggests Kaiser’s website.

Perhaps one of the most important tips is not to blame yourself for feeling down, said Humphreys.

“It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you just because you don’t feel too full of holiday cheer,” he said.

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