For many people, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can also bring a significant case of the blues.
According to a new LiveScience
report on the "holiday blues," seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can
occur during winter months when people's daily body rhythms are out of sync with the sun.
Lack of sunlight
accounts for the majority of the 10 million Americans affected by SAD and another 25 million-plus have a lesser form known as the "winter blues."
In addition, the holiday blues can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as grieving the loss of a loved one, coping with a change of circumstances such as the loss of a job or a serious illness, having unrealistic expectations of a "picture perfect" holiday, stressing out because of too many demands for time or money, and the pressure of too many holiday-related demands.
To cope, mood disorders specialists at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center offer the following tips:
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating healthfully.
- Schedule "down time" to allow yourself to relax, pray, meditate, or laugh.
- Adjust your expectations so that they are more realistic of what can actually be accomplished with the time, money, and energy you have.
- Create traditions that work for you.
- If you are grieving the loss of loved ones, consider celebrating the person by creating a meaningful ritual, such as lighting a candle by the person's picture, writing a letter to the loved one, or gathering family and friends together to share special memories of that person.
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