Tips for coping with holiday stress, sadness and depression --RSS Feed

By Harvey Ross, Independent Living Services Coordinator, with Melanie Hupfer, PR & Marketing Coordinator
Holidays are usually thought of as a time for celebration and family but they can also be a time of sadness, stress and depression, and this can sometimes be heightened for people with disabilities. Sometimes just the thought of the holidays can be very stressful and sad, especially if you don’t have a support system. A person may not have family around or may be in a rehab facility, nursing home, etc.

Girl signing on a tablet
If you don't have loved ones nearby, reaching
out through technology is one way to connect.

The Mayo Clinic has a guide to coping with stress and depression around the holidays, and it has a lot of useful tips. The first tip is to acknowledge your feelings.
“If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief,” the guide states. “It's OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.”
Its next recommendations for people who may not have friends or family in the area is to seek out social events organized by community or religious groups, or sign up to do some volunteering. You can also reach out to your friends and family and others by phone or by using technology. 
Another challenge of the holiday season is that going out in public can be a hassle with the big crowds, and of course the weather this time of year can be challenging to get around in (not to mention problems with the plowing and shoveling that businesses and individuals do). You could also have a transportation issue for those who can’t transport themselves from A to B who rely on transportation companies or other people.
Planning and scheduling to do things ahead of time can help reduce the stress. You can also shop online or make gifts instead of going to the store. If you run into problems related to shoveling and plowing during your travels, call your municipality.
The holidays can be a challenging time of year and that’s totally understandable. Any gesture of kindness or understanding is always welcomed and goes a long way.
Another very important point from the Mayo Clinic guide:

“Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.”

For more tips from the Mayo Clinic guide, “Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping,” click here.

| Friday, 12/14/2018 - 5:09 PM | 0 comments
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