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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Could It Be Post-Holiday Blues?


The decorations are all put away, but the bills are beginning to pile up on your counter top, and you are finding yourself feeling out of sorts and down. You might be one of many Americans who are experiencing Post Holiday Blues.

What are some of the typical symptoms of Post Holiday Blues?
• Overeating or excessive drinking
• Sleeping too much or experiencing insomnia
• Forgetfulness or having difficulty with making decisions (lack of concentration)
• Frequent minor illnesses (colds, sore throat, stomach discomfort)

What are some of the reasons for the “blues”?

• Holiday hype: The holidays are filled with expectations and the illusion that we can all have the perfect “Martha Stuart” holiday, but many people experience unmet dreams and disappointment during the holiday season
• Loss and grief: Perhaps this holiday was difficult and depressing because a family member or friend was has died, or a loved one was unable to join you for the holidays due to significant health problems.
• Financial constraints: More and more Americans are facing economic challenges. Many Americans have found themselves unable to celebrate the holiday without dramatic cuts in purchasing and refocusing on basic needs.
• Physical exhaustion: People tend to overcommit, over-extent themselves, and push themselves past the point of healthy limits during the holidays. Americans tend to not listen to their own body’s warning signs and push themselves to the point of exhaustion.
• Emotional overload: With increased pressure from family and friends and the intensity on interacting in difficult relational circles, many people find themselves emotionally drained and depressed.

What are some suggestions for beating the post-holiday blues?

• Take charge: Go out and do something positive for yourself. Get out and see a movie, go back to the fitness club, or decide to really dedicate time to a new hobby
• Reach out: Focus on increasing your support network. Research indicates that happiness and health is directly related to your relationship with others.
• Get back into a healthy lifestyle: Eat healthier foods in smaller quantities; commit to getting 6-8 hours of sleep per night; replenish your body by drinking more water; increase your exercise because research indicates that walking even 5-10 minutes per day can enhance your life.
• Acknowledge your feelings: It is okay to feel down, but if it persists, it is important to reach out to a licensed professional mental health counselor for help.

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