Q: How can I avoid the holiday blues? I always seem to get so maudlin this time of year, and I’d really like to enjoy the holiday season more. Depression isn’t the holiday spirit!
A. You’re in luck! Torrey Harrison, LCSW, and Stephanie LeBlanc, LCSW, both from Tri-County Mental Health, talked about this at a recent Senior College presentation on depression. They offered some concrete tips (see their holiday blues ideas in this recent blog on depression) and also talked about focusing on the Eight Dimensions of Wellness:
Physical – healthy patterns, eating, exercise, imbibing, sleeping
Emotional – awareness, expressing, managing
Social – positive supports, regular contact
Occupational – sense of purpose and meaning in everyday life
Intellectual – activities that are creative, learning something new
Financial – making conscious spending decisions, planning and preparing
Environmental – pleasing surroundings support physical/mental health
Spiritual – connect with something greater than one’s self
Can you work through one dimension every day, really thinking about the small changes you can make, that might add up to feeling better? Harrison and LeBlanc also mentioned using a full-spectrum light to fight Seasonal Affective Disorder, getting enough exercise, and connecting with others as a way to combat depression. Read their depression tips here.