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How to cope with the holiday blues

Don't be afraid to reach out to a professional for help
Posted at 6:47 AM, Dec 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-21 11:23:07-05

The holiday season is often a time of great joy, but it can lead to feelings of stress or even sadness for some.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 64% of those who experience anxiety or depression say this time of year makes them feel worse.

Dr. Soffia Palsdottir with Mental Health Center of America says, during the holidays, it's easy to compare yourself when you see someone post their perfect table setting or perfect holiday family photo. It can also spark feelings of loneliness for those without a big circle of family or friends.

"There's sort of this toxic perfectionism when it comes to the holidays," Palsdottir said. "A lot of it is what they see from their surroundings and what they think others are experiencing which might be unrealistic."

Here are three tips to get you through it:

  • Build your own community of support: If you have feelings of missing out, try volunteering at a local food bank or church
  • Give a gift: Giving is often more of a mood booster than receiving. But don't get caught up in the "perfect" gift. The gift of time is often the most cherished. 
  • Get outside: Keep the mind and body active and healthy by spending time outdoors, going for a walk and enjoying our Arizona weather.

Palsdottir says it's also important not to rely on alcohol to get you through the season and remember that it's ok to say "no" and set boundaries.

If problems persist, don't be afraid to reach out to a professional for help.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text the National 24-hour Suicide and Crisis Hotline at 988.