If you are feeling less than cheerful this holiday season, you have a lot of company. There’s a lot going on. I am finding more people are on edge, quicker to get irritated and uncertain about the future. Add the holidays on top of that, when we’re supposed to be feeling more joy, and it’s easy to understand why we could be feeling depressed.
In my last article, I shared 4 Key Tips to Prevent Holiday Stress. If we don’t manage stress during this time of year, it can lead to the holiday blues. Studies show that depression peaks during and after the holidays, especially for those prone to it. Unmet expectations, missing a loved one, excessive spending, even too much to eat or drink can bring on the blues. Trying to join in holiday cheer and not being able to do so can make anyone feel out of step, and add to a feeling of isolation.
Research shows that depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain. However scientists aren’t exactly sure what causes the imbalance. People who are depressed appear to have lower levels of some neurotransmitters that control mood or elevated levels of cortisol, a hormone that accumulates in the body due to stress.*
(Next – How to Prevent or Overcome Holiday Blues)