November 26, 2008

How To Beat The Holiday Blues

Health and Human Services Agency Offers Advice on Dealing with Loneliness, Anxiety and Depression

The holiday season should be a time of joy, cheer, parties, and gatherings with family and friends. However, many people experience feelings of loneliness and anxiety. Furthermore, stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, financial constraints, and the inability to be with loved ones and family can cause the “holiday blues.”

“While many get into the holiday spirit with family parties and gift exchanges, others don’t have the time, energy or resources to create the ‘perfect holiday,’” said Alfredo Aguirre, Director of Mental Health Services division of the County’s Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). “For some people, the holiday season can be one of the most difficult times of the year. Furthermore, more people experience post-holiday let down after January 1.”

This sadness and depression can be prevented. To help alleviate the problem, HHSA is offering some tips on how to keep the blues away:

· Establish realistic goals and expectations.

· Establish 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 or nursing home.

· Exercise regularly and try to laugh; laughing is a great aerobic exercise.

People suffering from depression or from an alcohol or drug-related problem, should seek help from friends, family members, a faith-based organization or call the County’s Access and Crisis Line at (800) 479-3339.

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