As the holidays approach us, many people look forward to spending time with family and friends and to the joys of the season. However, the holidays can bring some unwanted guests- stress and depression, for adults and children. Changes occur from year to year and these changes can affect is especially around the holidays- even positive changes. For others, the holidays are associated with negative feelings. Even after the holidays, many people experience the “Post Holiday Blues.” A recent poll showed that 8 /10 Americans experience stress around the holidays.
External triggers for holiday stress and sadness may include: loss of a loved one through divorce, death or a move, loss of a job or home or toxic relationships. Internal triggers can may be unresolved grief, underlying medical conditions, fear, isolation and loneliness and the contrast between expectations and reality. Sometimes, these feelings may be more than the “blues” and mental health professional involvement may be warranted if problems such as changes in appetite, sleep and weight persist for more than a few weeks or there is a lack of energy, social withdrawal and continued sorrow.
For most of us, however, planning ahead and using some key strategies can get us through this season. Seeking serenity, practicing forgiveness, letting go of unrealistic expectations, avoiding substance abuse, staying away from toxic people, practicing self care, reaching out to others, planning things we enjoy ourselves can help.
Tune in to this segment for more information about holiday stress triggers and causes and some strategies to make your holiday experience be filled with more hope and gratitude. Dr. Theodore Morgan, a local Atlanta psychiatrist will lend his expertise on this timely topic and also discuss when more than our own strategies may be warranted and professional help enlisted. Listeners can also obtain more information on www.gabehavioralhealth.com.
Dr. Theodore Morgan
- Medical training at Meharry College of Medicine
- Completed psychiatry fellowship at University of Alabama
- Board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry
- Member of the America Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- In private practice at GA Behavioral Health