Dealing with holiday stress

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Holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for so many people they are anything but.

Depression occurs any time of the year, but the stress and anxiety during the month of December can cause even those who are usually chipper to experience loneliness.

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There are several reasons why you may develop stress during the holidays. Norman White said, “Making sure that I’ve taken care of everybody with gifts and trying to reconnect and send cards to people.”

Whatever the case may be Executive Director of Mississippi Department of Mental Health Kay Denault says there are ways to combat these stresses. One of the biggest stresses many face is the loss of a loved one. “A lot of the times those people also incorporate some sort of tradition. So, maybe even if they aren’t here, you can still have that same tradition in their memory. You can reflect back on those happy times and remember the goodness that came out of it. It’s going to be sad, but it was also good.”

Other tips can include being in charge of a large family gathering and making a list to ensure organization. Don’t break your usual routine. If you work out regularly, don’t let the holidays stop you. Be mindful, if you’re stressed during this season, others are too. “Think about things you’re grateful for in your life. I know, myself, I tend to think about the negative things that are happening, but there’s so many good things that are happening as well. Even if you just take a few minutes and jot down a little paragraph, one little thing that maybe happened to you that was good today. It could be something as simple like somebody at Walmart smiled at you. Whatever it is, focus on that positive to try and cheer yourself up.”

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