Home Blues Tips for dealing with the vacation and post-vacation blues | Richmond...

Tips for dealing with the vacation and post-vacation blues | Richmond Free Press

17
0


Vacation depression, also known as “vacation blues,” is a reality and can last long after the vacation. It affects 1 million people every year.

Sometimes this can lead to suicide.

Men and women, young and old alike are all victims of feelings of sadness, loneliness, anxiety, guilt and fatigue during this emotional season.

The Men’s Health Network offers the following 10 suggestions to help you identify and avoid, or at least cope better with, potential sources of holiday depression.

1 – Recognize that you are in pain. Acknowledge your pain, be open and honest with others, refuse to feel guilty, and ask for help when needed. It’s good to laugh. You won’t be struck by lightning for laughing. Remember that a closed mouth will not be fed.

2 – Have a plan to deal with your feelings. Try to surround yourself with people who care and support you. Invest in an exercise program. Activities such as walking, running, cycling,

etc., are recommended due to their ability to improve mood. Learn to say “No”. The expectations of others are not a reason for your own sanity to suffer. Set realistic expectations for yourself.

3 – Take time for yourself. Make yourself a priority. Getting enough rest, eating and drinking in moderation, exercising, and pursuing other favorite activities can maintain normalcy, routine, control, and predictability.

4 – Consider that your depression may actually be caused by this time of year. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, occurs due to reduced exposure to the sun, which occurs during the holiday season when the daylight hours are shorter. See your doctor to see if light therapy might be of benefit.

5 – Help others. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, nursing homes, churches and dozens of other organizations can still use volunteers. You will enjoy the company of other people rather than being alone.

6 – Bury the hatchet. Perfect families don’t magically appear on vacation, but family disputes can. “Letting go” and forgiving can help heal the wounds of the past.

7 – Start your own traditions. Families and traditions change over time. Rather than reminiscing about ‘the good old days’, embrace the fact that change is needed, see things as they are now, look to the future, and create your own family traditions that can be cherished and even preserved for the future. the future generations.

8 – Keep your alcohol intake low. Remember that alcohol depresses the nervous system, so if you have the holiday blues, drinking too much will only make your depression worse.

9 – Re-dedicate yourself to your spirituality. Take a step back, slow down and refocus on transcendent and eternal topics. Re-dedicate yourself to spiritual activities such as church attendance, prayer life, and other disciplines.

10 – Connect with proven resources and effective treatments for depression.

It can help you find a solution that improves your life. It can be difficult to deal with depression on your own, so talking with family and friends can be a first step. You may also consider a connection with your doctor, a mental health professional such as a therapist, your local Veterans Administration medical center or veterans center, or a spiritual or religious counselor.

Here are some help lines:

• Administration of addiction and mental health services: www.samhsa.gov or (800) 662-HELP (4357).

• Crisis line for veterans: www.veteranscrisisline.net or (800) 273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255. (Open to veterans and non-veterans.)

• National lifeline for suicide prevention: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or (800) 273-TALK (8255) or text HELLO (741741).

ALPHONSO GIBBS JR.

Member of the Advisory Board, Men’s Health Network

Washington DC