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Beating the Holiday Blues

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Beating the Holiday Blues

By Sara Childre and Deborah Rozman

If you are feeling less than cheerful this holiday season, donít feel bad about that. You have a lot of company. Recent events in the news have many reeling. Thereís 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 weíre supposed to be feeling more joy, and itís easy to understand why some of us could be feeling depressed.

If we donít manage emotional 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.Women Sitting on Couch

Research shows that depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain. However scientists arenít exactly sure what causes the imbalance, but in many situations, itís due to too much stress. 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. (If feelings of depression last longer than a few weeks or if the symptoms are severe, itís important to seek professional help.)

Here are some tips from HeartMath that can help prevent or overcome the holiday blues:

Be careful not to get caught up in over-extending yourself. Adding too much to your plate can turn what should be a good time enjoying the holiday season into an extra backpack of stress. Then you have to take the first week of the New Year just to recoup from it all. Instead, create space to enjoy yourself and the people in your life whom you love or enjoy being with. You can avoid this by slowing down in the midst of all the activities and checking in with yourself about how youíre really feeling. Observe your energies and feelings and learn to find more ease through it all.

Up Next – Notice and Ease

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Read more: Depression, Exercises, Family, General Health, Health, Home, Life, Men's Health, Mental Wellness, Nourishing the Heart, Peace, Self-Help, Spirit, Spirituality and Technology, Stress, Women's Health, , , , ,

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Sara, from the HeartMath Institute

Sara Childre is President and CEO of the non-profit Institute of HeartMath. Since 1991, Sara has helped oversee and develop HeartMath trainings, educational products and scientific programs. She was appointed vice president and CFO of the institute in 1992, then president and CEO in 1998.


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9:35PM PST on Jan 9, 2013

Sounds good , Nice to see so many being both honest and comforting .

I'll try .. But kindness & patience , I'm from NJ !

Okay last part was a joke , Am from NJ though .

Thanks so much for post , And thanks to all these great members for sharing their perspective.

12:43PM PST on Dec 29, 2012

Things have a habit of coming to a head around the Xmas period/holidays. We have more time to think & ruminate. This is natural, to a degree, as it allows an oportunity for putting things in perspective & moving on. Accept the feelings/facts & try & let them go. We cannot change the past but can definetly change the future, even if it is our perspective of the future. Talk to others, it does help to externalize the concerns & worries.

1:43PM PST on Dec 28, 2012

it seems I'm not alone in my loneliness, although I'd beg to differ ...

1:56AM PST on Dec 28, 2012

To fight depression, I concentrate on less fortunate and the animals

5:16PM PST on Dec 27, 2012

The thing is, it comes on slowly, slyly, sneakingly in an underpinning way, starting as nothing more than a vague uneasiness, something you could easily dismiss from your mind.........except you can't. It grows. Then, only then, do you realize you might be in trouble. And look for some words of comfort.

This is the 1rst Christmas I have had without my longterm roomate of 12 yrs(just roomates really). I had no idea how much I missed his company(yes a he, but really just roomates-housemates). Since he had never been anything more to me than a roomate, I really didn't think I would have any kind of separation feelings what-so-ever. Wow. I was really wrong.

I was overthrilled when he called to see how I was doing. Just goes to show, relationships can happen whether expected or not.

10:07AM PST on Dec 27, 2012


5:30AM PST on Dec 27, 2012

all you need is light to beat the winter blues and perhaps meds if you have bad depression

4:43AM PST on Dec 27, 2012

Do something'll distract your mind.

2:31AM PST on Dec 27, 2012


2:32PM PST on Dec 26, 2012

thank you!

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