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How To Cope With The Holiday Blues

How To Cope With The Holiday Blues

Depression never takes a holiday. In fact for some people it gets worse.

In a recent survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 64 percent of respondents said they are "affected by the holiday blues" and 24 percent said the "holiday blues affect them a lot."

The condition referred to as the holiday blues is described as short-term feelings of depression and anxiety.

"The holiday blues are on the continuum of depression but they are not (a) full clinical syndrome, they are when somebody feels tired or sad but they don't last a full two weeks," said psychiatrist Krista Roybal with the True Life Center for Wellbeing in La Jolla.

Roybal said the holiday blues can be triggered by a number a factors people experience during the holiday season.

"All mammals have a change in their mood in this time of year, there are shorter days, decreased light and that affects our mood. But during the holidays in particular, we put a lot of expectations on ourselves there's a lot of stress, that affects our system and stress gives us a higher chance of being depressed. We also don't sleep as much, we buy more, we drink a lot, we eat more carbohydrates and sugar and all the things that make us more susceptible to being depressed," she said.

But there are ways to keep the blues at bay. Roybal recommends getting enough sleep, hydration and exercise along with meditation and writing in a journal.

For information about mental health resources in San Diego County visit www.up2sd.org.