Ways to help with seasonal depression

| November 24, 2015

COSHOCTON – For most people, the upcoming holiday season is a time of celebration, spending time with family and friends, and baking up some family-favorite Christmas cookies. But for others, the season can be stressful, which can lead to depression or what is referred to as the Christmas Blues. Here are some helpful tips from Ken Sheffield of Six Counties Inc. in Coshocton on how to make your Christmas merrier.

“Keep a positive outlook,” he said. “Don’t think about the things you can’t do, but shift to the positive side and think about what you can do.”

Sheffield also cautioned on what kinds of movies you watch and music you listen to. This time of the year, television is flooded with Christmas movies, and most of them set unrealistic standards on how the holiday season should be. Even some Christmas music may bring some people down, so Sheffield advises not to listen to those specific songs this holiday season.

While most people find Christmas shopping fun, finding that perfect gift for that certain someone can also come at an expense you can’t afford.

“Be realistic when you go shopping,” said Sheffield. “Don’t spend money you don’t have.”

Probably the most important thing to do this holiday season to chase away the Christmas blues is to surround yourself with people you love.

“Be around other people,” said Sheffield. “If you isolate yourself, it’s just going to make the depression worse.”

Although we’ve been pretty lucky in Coshocton County with the amount of sunshine and warm days we’ve had this autumn, December through February are usually the coldest and dreariest months of the year in Ohio, which can definitely contribute to holiday and post-holiday depression.

“Sunshine is a natural anti-depressant,” said Sheffield. “So if we have a sunny winter day, get outside if you can.”

How do you know when your holiday depression may be more serious and you need to seek professional help?

“When you wake up sad and it doesn’t go away, that’s a big red flag that you need to do something,” said Sheffield. “When you stop doing things you like or you are getting physically sick. Depression can make you physically sick. Also, if you have crying spells and nothing has triggered it, that’s a sign that you need to get some help.”

Most of all, whether you have seasonal depression or not, remember Sheffield’s last piece of advice, and that is, “Do something every day that makes you laugh.”

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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  1. In my opinion, more natural treatments for depression such as the http://destroydepression.com/info.html system should get more exposure, because it is written by somebody who has actually been through depression and came out the other side. It teaches 7 natural steps which figures show work way better than current ‘treatments’.