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When Your Holiday Tune is The Blues:Depression and the Holidays

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The Holiday Blues is a form of depression that presents itself during the Winter Holidays
including Thanksgiving, Christmas and even The New Year. Memories of family traditions, trips
and meals are often at the forefront of a person's mind when thinking about the holidays. This
can be an overwhelming experience even for a person strongly rooted in faith.
Symptoms may include agitation/irritation, headaches, insomnia, overeating or starvation,
sadness and even conflict with others. Some things that may trigger the holiday blues are: the
loss of a loved one or pet; divorce; loss of a job; retirement; or the loss of a home.
Here are some things persons experiencing holiday blues can practice to assist them through a
very difficult season:

Prayer & Meditation. Prayer makes a difference! Make daily prayer and meditation a part of
your life to build your faith and carry you through the painful emotions you may be experiencing.
Consider these helpful scriptures:

● 2 Samuel 22:29 – You are my lamp O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.
● Ecclesiastes 9:4 – Anyone who is among the living has hope.
● Psalms 9:9 – The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
● Psalm 27:14 - Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine
heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
● Psalm 31:22,24 – You heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help… Be
strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
● Psalm 34:18, 19 – The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are
crushed in spirit. (19) A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers
him from them all.

Spend time with others. Whether a good friend, family member, classmate or co-worker.
Consider spending time with someone else that you can be yourself with. Although it may be
difficult to gather together with family members, being around others can make a difference
in the feelings of loneliness and impulsive feelings like self harm and suicide.

Get busy. There is something therapeutic about painting, crafting, scrapbooking or
cooking/baking and exercising that builds a person up. If none of these things are enjoyable to
you, try something you haven’t before such as salsa dancing, fishing, ice skating or writing. It
has been said that idle time can lead to negative activities, so staying active can be a bridge of
hope from one moment to the next.

Take time off. Try planning a getaway, small trip or other activity that gets you away from
your daily life. Sometimes a change in environment will uplift the countenance of someone
who is dealing with depression and sadness during the holidays. If you cannot get away, try a
day trip that you can get to in 2 hours or less by car. Visit a coffee house, shopping center or
volunteer at a local community center.

Spend wisely. This can be a time to shop away the blues, but the aftermath could further
push a person to a dark place. If gift giving is something you enjoy, but are not able to shop as
you once have, consider homemade gifts like baking a pie for each household of family and
friends or making a digital scrapbook of fun memories with cheerful music. The holidays is a
great time to commemorate memories and traditions through creative expressions such as
these.

Reach out. If you are struggling with the holiday blues, consider talking to someone you can
trust to walk with you throughout this time. Whether a Pastor, church leader, counselor or
friend, talking to someone about your feelings can help to give you strength during what can
be a grievous time of year. You can also consider journaling or blogging as an outlet to
express your feelings.

You don’t have to “muttle through somehow” because you are not alone in your struggles. If
you are dealing holiday blues, don’t be afraid to acknowledge it and help yourself to a more
positive experience this year. For emergency help, please call 911 for immediate
assistance and 211 for community resources in your local area.

This is also a FREE download, available here!

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