How to Deal with the Holiday Blues

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

Counselors say they see more cases of anxiety and depression during the holidays but say this year is worse because of the ailling economy.

Angie Secrest was shopping for toys for her 11-year-old son at the Toys for Tots warehouse on Friday when she told 11 News she just couldn't do it on her own this year.

"The times, the economics--I just need some help."

Secrest just lost her job last week and didn't want her son to wake up with nothing under the tree.

"I think for parents we just want to see that joy in our kids and when we can't provide that for your children, it pains you," said Secrest.

Secrest is not alone. With hundreds of layoffs in Mesa County many are struggling financially.

Latimer House Case Manager Renee Haig says the holidays can compound that stress.

"What we often see is just people kind of stressing about the gifts, having the food and being able to just provide for their families and have a sense of stability and normalcy."

Haig says most stress stems from unrealistic expectations.

"It's okay if it's not large, extravagant and perfect. Just make it personal and making it your own is the best way to beat the stress," said Haig.

She also says it's a good idea to focus on the things you do have and enjoy friends and family.

And that's exactly what Angie Secrest says she's doing.

"I'm pretty humbled just to have a home and heat, some people don't even have that."

A few more tips from counselors on ways to cut down on stress and feel better emotionally.

Get more sunlight, exercise and a normal sleeping pattern.

If you have a dinner planned, make it a potluck. Counselors say delegating can take a burden off.

If you can't shake the holiday blues, you may have a more serious case of depression and couneslors say you should get help.

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