Avoiding Holiday Depression - PIH Health

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Published on December 01, 2016

Avoid Holiday Depression

Holiday Depression

Holiday DepressionDepression is real and it often comes alive in individuals during the holiday season. Clinical depression is different from holiday depression in that clinical depression will linger long after the holidays have come and gone. It’s important to know the difference and what to do about both.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov) noted many ways to help cope with stress, which is a trigger for depression around the holidays. If you are feeling out of sorts this season, try these tips to help take care of yourself and keep the holiday blues away.

Exercise: Get out and exercise! Enjoy fresh air or go to a gym. Exercising is important in maintaining good health and helps with stress and anxiety.

Sunshine: Sunshine helps produce serotonin, a chemical that helps regulate mood function. If you live in a mild climate, enjoy the outdoors. If you aren’t able to go outside for sunshine, try a sun lamp. Sunshine has been known to help improve a person’s mood.

Sleep: It’s important to remember to get regular hours of sleep. During the holidays, people often move so fast – they get up early and go to bed late to try to fit everything in. Sleep is important in maintaining good health.

Medication: If you take medication, be sure not to miss a dose or forget to refill a prescription. It’s easy to forget, but staying on track can make a world of difference.

Volunteer: Studies have shown that volunteering improves health and wellness which can improve happiness. Especially in the senior years. Giving back to the community can help make you feel better. Try volunteering at a local hospital, school or other area of interest. PIH Health has many volunteer opportunities available.

“Feeling down is tough and exhausting, even more so during the holidays for many individuals,” said Jaime Garcia MD, psychologist for PIH Health. “Taking care of oneself during this time is important to help keep stress away and avoid holiday depression altogether.” If sadness continues long after the season is over, it may be time to see your primary care physician (PCP). Getting professional help can make a difference.

So remember, don’t forget to exercise and get to bed on time so you can enjoy the sunshine that each new day brings.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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