Beating the Holiday Blues

It's not just the King of Rock and Roll that has a blue Christmas every once in a while.  This time of year can be as full of stress as it is holiday cheer, so it's no wonder that some people feel a little depressed.

Social worker Allyson Pardue says the rush to create the perfect holiday celebration with food, gifts and decorations can become overwhelming for several reasons.

Holiday spending can add extra stress to anyone who is under an economic strain.  Also, the pressure to be merry or happy during the holidays can amplify feelings of loneliness due to depression or even a recent loss.

"Those things could certainly increase a person's vulnerability," said Pardue. "Everyone experiences loss, everyone experiences stress. Sometimes we don't know why we're not coping as well as we might."

It's important to remember that if you're feeling down during the holidays, or any time of year, it is completely normal.  The important thing is learning how to cope.

"Making sure that you sleep enough, and that's hard to do, anytime you're not eating or sleeping properly, you're ability cope is going to be affected in a negative way," said Pardue.

Pardue also says to make time for yourself, and don't let your schedule get too hectic.  Most importantly, reach out and talk to a trusted friend or counselor when you feel distressed in anyway.

The Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center has a crisis hotline, The Phone, with trained counselors available 24-7 to help you through any issue big or small.   Pardue, who coordinates The Phone says that anything can be a crisis and some days can just be harder than others.

"What's a crisis to you may or may not be a crisis to me.  What's a crisis to me this week, I may handle beautifully next week. It's how we're doing on a day to day basis," said Pardue.

The Phone can be reached (225) 924-3900 or toll free at (800) 437-0303.

There is also an online Crisis Chat that is available for help as well,

Pardue also said that there are several misconceptions about the holiday blues.  Many people believe that suicide rates spike during the holidays, but according to data collected by the Crisis Center that is not true.  Pardue says the highest rates of suicides are usually in the spring.

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