GOOD SAMARITAN: The holidays are over. So why am I so ‘blue?’

The holiday season for many people is a fun time of the year for gathering with family and friends. For others it is a time filled with sadness, self-evaluation, loneliness, depression, anxiety and grief.
If you are feeling “blue” or “down” after the busy holiday season, you could be experiencing post-holiday depression. Following are some signs/symptoms of depression: you feel lonely, you feel hopeless, you are pessimistic about events instead of looking for the lesson hidden therein, you want to isolate and be alone, you have feelings of guilt and worthlessness, are sad, are anxious, are exhausted and have no energy, you focus on terrible things that “might” happen in the future, you have lost your interest in previously pleasurable activities, and sometimes you may have thoughts of death or suicide.
If you are experiencing a few or many of these signs/symptoms, you could try some of these strategies to relieve symptoms: help someone else, volunteer your time to help the needy at a soup kitchen, or visit people in nursing homes, for example. Help yourself. Take good care of yourself! Exercise is one of the best prescriptions for well-being and for lessening depression. Exercise daily and send more oxygen to your brain. Eat nutritious, whole, real foods — the suggestions are endless on the internet.
You might want to break a bad habit. To do this, you must have a desire to change — be motivated; identify the habit you want to break; expect that there will be difficulties to overcome; do not make the habit to break too difficult; and find something better to substitute in its place. Pay attention to your thought patterns. Change negative thinking to positive perceptions of people and events around you. If action strategies combined with changing thought patterns do not lessen symptoms, consider getting help.
Depression varies in its severity. If you identify some or many of these symptoms for yourself for more than a few days, help is available. You are not alone. Depression affects more than 20 million people in the USA and can be treated. Contact a mental health professional or your family doctor to seek the help that is available to you. If we can be of assistance, you can contact the Samaritan Counseling Center at 432-553-4144.