Holiday Depression And How To Cope With It - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; kptm.com |

Holiday Depression And How To Cope With It

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Franque Thompson

OMAHA (KPTM)- For some, the holidays are more dreadful than cheerful.  And therapists say sometimes it's difficult to figure out exactly what is causing the depression.

"When we try to do too many things at one particular time and we're not realistic with our expectations, we set ourselves up for depression.  And that could be anytime of year," said psychiatrist Dr. Kay Shilling.

There are ways to prioritize your holiday to prevent depression.  Mayo Clinic said it all starts with acknowledging your feelings.  Having a support system, setting a budget, lowering expectations and planning ahead can also help eliminate the holiday stress.

"Do fewer things that you ordinarily do that aren't essential and then try to add in these extra things that are going to be coming up and plan for them, then you're going to enjoy your holidays more," said Shilling.

Dr. Shilling also discusses how to beat the holiday blues in her book, "Coins From The Couch." She said too many people over–work themselves to have a perfect Christmas.

"With extra stress, some of the more serious psychiatric conditions will come out. And they'll be more apparent because you'll be around family and perhaps family will also pick up on that," said Shilling.

You may not even realize you could be depressed. Some signs include: sadness, anxiety, irritability, hopelessness and lack of sleep.

Mayo Clinic said it doesn't hurt to get professional help if you feel you have a problem.

"Your healthcare professionals are there to help you as well to get through the holidays—and after the holidays if it happens to increase," said Shilling.

Mayo Clinic said suggests sticking with healthy eating habits.  Overindulging on holiday foods only adds stress and guilt.  Making simple, minor adjustments can bring major results towards a joyous holiday.

fthompson@kptm.com

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