KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal News


Tips to combat holiday depression

Posted at 9:00 AM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 11:06:01-05

The holidays are full of celebrations, but for some, the holiday season can lead to depression or anxiety.

Losing loved ones through death or divorce has a strong bearing on how we carry ourselves through supposedly "happy times." According to experts at Sierra Tucson a treatment center in Tucson, 64% of Americans suffer "holiday blues." 

Experts at Sierra Tucson suggest you follow these tips to cope:

  • Realize you're not alone
  • Acknowledge your feelings
  • Take a breather 
  • Seek professional help if you need it. 

For those who suffer the loss of a loved one, Jamie Vinck, CEO of Sierra Tucson  recommend externalizing the grief. There  are several rituals, such as lighting a candle for a loved one, that will help remember them. 

The holiday season can also be tough for a recovering addict. Individuals who abuse substances are triggered by stress, family or work during the holidays, Associate Director of the Addictions Program Bill Reynolds explained. 

To avoid relapsing, Reynold suggests you first seek professional help. There are various community organizations that are open 24 hours a day to provide support. 

You should also take these tips into consideration:

  • Have a plan
  • Set boundaries
  • If you were invited to a party/reunion, just don't go. 
  • If you have to go, have a way home.  
  • Get a non-alcoholic beverage as soon as you arrive and don't let go. 
  • Have a simple answer 
  • Just take it a day at a time 

The holidays can also bring some stress and anxiety for people dealing with eating disorders. After all, the holidays and food go hand in hand. 

According to Eating Recovery Program Manager Scott Frazier, the holidays can bring intense feelings and individuals comfort themselves by binging. 

To help people suffering from an eating disorder, Frazier recommends:

  • Slow down the eating process. 
  • Practice mindful eating
  • Pay attention to your body cues. Your body will tell you when you're full
  • Create a holiday coping plan
  • Set healthy boundaries 
  • Practice self-compassion