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Not Feeling Merry? Beating The Holiday Blues

Jessica Whittle

The holiday season is a time for joy and family and good will towards men.  At least that's what they keep telling us.  In reality, many people find this time of year stressful and depressing.  But it doesn't have to be.  Dr. David Josephs is the clinical director at the Lakeview Center, a mental health facility and an affiliate of Baptist Health Care in Pensacola.  He says that when people are almost ordered to be merry it can take them "out of their comfort zone".

And a large part of being out of that comfort zone is  dealing with people you don't see for the rest of the year.  Many times there's a good reason we don't see them.  Dr. Josephs says planning on how to deal with difficult friends and relatives in advance can often remove a lot of the stress of the situation

Family finances can also take a hit this time of year leading to some stress.  And there's the simple fact that it gets dark really early.

So what can we do?  There's no guaranteed one size fits all solution to the "Holiday Blues", but Dr. Josephs says there are things you can do to make the season a little less crazed.  Again, plan on how to deal with difficult people in advance,  If you are "a loner" and are uncomfortable with large family gatherings...talk a walk for some solitude. 

And finally...a word about New year's resolutions.  Well, four words: don't aim too high!  Making sure your resolutions can actually be accomplished is important and can lead to personal growth in the new year.