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Coping With The Holiday Blues

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Holiday Blues

The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time. But they can also bring on stress, anxiety and other mental illnesses.

In a recent survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 64 percent of respondents said their condition worsened during the holidays.

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Experts say big hopes, loneliness and stress can lead to the holiday blues during November and December.

“The holidays can make some people feel out of control, and that feeling is usually the result of having high expectations,” said Alfredo Aguirre, director of the Behavioral Health Services division of the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

“The goal is to take some control over the holidays to avoid the stress and the pressure of creating the perfect holiday,” Aguirre said.

  • Here are some tips on how to keep the holiday blues at bay from the Health and Human Services Agency:
  • Establish realistic goals and expectations
  • Set a spending limit and stick to it
  • Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Get involved with others and spend time with people who are supportive and caring
  • Look for opportunities to express kindness by volunteering at a shelter, meal delivery service or senior center
  • Eat healthy, exercise regularly and try to laugh; laughing is a great aerobic exercise

Experts say if people are still feeling down after the holidays have passed, they could be suffering from a more serious condition like depression.
For information about mental health resources, visit www.up2sd.org or call 888-724-7240.