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Avoid Holiday Blues with your Children

This time of the year can be very difficult for millions of Americans around the country, as the holidays can often provide more of an opportunity for depression and anxiety than other months. What is usually meant to be a time of peace, happiness, joy and being together with friends and family, can often fall prey to bouts of the “Holiday Blues”, which is often described as a type of sadness experienced during the holidays. One generally experiences periods of sadness and depression, although Seasonal Affective Disorder, or “S.A.D.”, is often more related to seasonal depression as the months change from warm to cold.

So in short, the holiday blues are a type of sadness and overall depressed feeling despite everything enjoyable that is happening around the holidays. Different individuals may have completely different experiences from each other in terms of their family life, outside influences and factors that may exacerbate these conditions. This is especially true for children, who can be very aware of their surroundings and easily pick up different moods and situations that are happening. So if you want to help avoid the holiday blues for both you and your children, consider some of the following tips.

  • One of the most important things you can do is to avoid stress and stressful situations; however, it is not always easy to just simply “avoid” it. It often can be accomplished by planning ahead and making sure that everything you need is accounted for ahead of time. Stress is often caused by not having enough time to accomplish a task, or the task or situation itself being difficult to accomplish. Allowing for time can usually remedy many of these situations.
  • Talk to both yourself and your children about the positive things you have to be thankful for. It can become easy to start going down a rabbit trail of negativity when these feelings strike, but there are always some things in our lives that we can practice being grateful for, and that in turn can be an instant mood-lifter!
  • Try to avoid super-sugary foods or at least extensive unhealthy eating for both you and your family when you can. Avoiding overindulgence of alcohol for yourself is also recommended, as it is a depressant. Drinking and eating in moderation can sometimes be difficult to do this time of year when you factor in all of the parties and get-togethers, but finding a balance will be in your best interest.
  • Make memories for your children, but remember that not every year will be the same. Sometimes people make the mistake of trying to perfectly recreate something that happened last year, or the year before. This can sometimes lead to disappointment; instead, focus on creating new memories each year that may be different, but just as exciting and important to your kids.
  • The loss of a family member, pet or friend can be especially hard for children and families during the holidays. Set aside time for them to grieve, but also make sure to talk to them about the positive memories, funny stories and overall positive feelings and emotions to balance the loss as well.

Not every family will face the same hardships during the holidays, but following some of these constructive tips for avoiding the holiday blues can truly help.

© 2016 Strategic Behavioral Health, LLC
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