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Dec 11, 2014

Healthy Living Breaks Down the Christmas Blues

If you listen to all the Christmas songs that have been blaring on the airwaves or even in your home; you’re probably convinced that all days leading to Christmas are indeed “merry and bright.”  After all, ‘tis the season to be jolly – right? Well, not for everyone. If you’ve been feeling more like the Grinch this holiday season, then tonight on healthy living you’ll find that you’re not alone.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting
The real meaning of Christmas is rooted in the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ. It is a time to rejoice that God sent his son to save us and bring us peace. But this season, that has heralded a time of joy and merriment is also a time of sorrow for many.

 

Aimee Jex, Professional Counselor

“If they have experienced a change in their life that led them to emotions at this time a separation, a divorce, loss of parents, loss of a loved one. Its a very difficult time.”

 

As counselor Aimee Jex explains, grief and loss of loved ones are not the only reasons that people suffer from the holiday blues.

 

Aimee Jex

“In the year we have many periods where we transition from highs to lows when we have less or more activities in our lives. The holiday season just happens to happen to have a lot of things. Your stress can increase, you can feel lonely at this time when everybody is with family and friends. Or you feel alone that you cant speak to anyone about your financial problem and your kids expect a certain gift for Christmas; and your spouse expect something and you just feel isolated. So it really does happen.”

 

Some of the triggers are linked to the holiday preparation, the stress of shopping, planning, decorating. Finding the money to pay for it all; maybe it’s coping with major changes like recently losing a loved one, a divorce or separation. Another contributing factor can be the weather.

 

Aimee Jex

Aimee Jex

“You will notice yourself, that if there are a week of gloomy days or overcast or rain days or when its cold, we do get a little bit down. We want to stay in bed. We want to go out. We don’t want to talk to people. We just want to stay at home. That is what seasonal affective depression is. Financial stress can be very difficult, it can lead to isolation because of shame…all of these…take on a loan.”

 

Women are most as risk for the holiday blues; as they usually carry the burden of putting together Christmas celebration.

 

Aimee Jex

“That’s a population that is more at risk anyway to depression and during Christmas time they usually get overwhelmed with everything they have to pull through.”

 

Jex suggests that family members & friends to reach out to those suffering from holiday blues especially if you notice changes in their sleeping, eating or socializing patterns.

 

Aimee Jex

“If you have someone who has lost in the past year, the past three years..check in on them…keep an eye on them.  One of the most important things when coping with depression and most mental health illness is that we need a support system. Its not as much how do I take care of the other person but how do I reach out to other people. Yea, I’m alone. I don’t know what to do, I don’t have many friends, I just lost my spouse, my kids just moved away from home and cant come back fro Christmas. So who do I be with? Call a coworker – can I brig a dish? Visit one of the homes, volunteer with the children. D something.”

 

Don’t forget to pay attention to children as well; in cases of separation or divorce – do not put additional guilt on children especially since their established Christmas traditions will change.

 

Aimee Jex

“Remember the entire point is to have fun toe experience joy, not to please everyone.”

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