SADAGs Facebook Friday Online Chat discusses..
Helping with the Holiday Blues
10 December 2020
Facebook Friday – Dr Reddy s 72
For many people, the festive season is not like perceived in the movies, especially this year that has added additional stress, challenges, anxiety, trauma, grief, loss and financial stress. 2020 has been a very difficult year and there are many people who are overwhelmed, burnt out, depressed and anxious, and therefore not looking forward to the festive season and may experience the “Holiday Blues”. SADAG is receiving over 1500 calls per day from people around the country, and as we gear up for the holiday season, we anticipate more calls as the festive season can be a very stressful time.
Balancing the demands of shopping, gift wrapping, family obligations, visitors and financial expenses may leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. You may develop stress responses like headaches, you may drink excessively or over-eat, or you may develop insomnia. SADAG warns that signs of depression or serious stress should not be written off as mere holiday blues in the hope that they’ll disappear in January. But you don’t have to dread the holidays – there is help available!
SADAG will be hosting a Free #FacebookFriday Online expert Q&A on Friday the 11th of December between 1pm and 2pm with Clinical Psychologist Judith Ancer, and again at 7pm to 8pm with Psychiatrist Dr Claire Lownie as they discuss the grief, stress, anger, sadness, and loneliness associated with the Holiday Blues.
The FREE online chat will help unpack dealing with the holiday blues, how to manage the additional stress, managing family conflict at all those extra family gatherings, how to recharge over the festive season and how to support a loved one with their own anxiety and depression. It is also an important opportunity to get more tips and tools on managing your mental health issues with regards to maintaining treatment and managing triggers. Join the live Facebook Friday online Q&A via the SADAG Facebook page.
To join the chat, please go to the SADAG Facebook Page – The South African Depression and Anxiety or click here or you can also join via the SADAG website www.sadag.org . If you or your loved one needs help call SADAG on 0800 21 22 23 or SMS 31393 and a counsellor will call you.
Here are some Tips to Finding the Holiday Spirit
1. Lean on your support system. If you’ve been depressed, you need a network of close friends and family to turn to when things get tough. Take time to get together with your support team or connecting remotely through online chats or whatsapp groups where you share funny or inspirational messages to check in with each other.
2. Ask for help and be specific. Don’t feel like you have to do it all – give yourself permission to ask others for help. Ask your sister to help you cook, invite a friend along on shopping trips. People are usually happy to help if you tell them what you need.
3. Don’t stay longer than you want. Going to a party doesn’t obligate you to stay until the bitter end. Instead, just drop by for a few minutes, say hello, and explain you have other engagements. Knowing you have a plan to leave can really ease your anxiety.
4. Forget about the perfect gift. Don’t stress about finding the absolute best gift ever – sometimes doing something for someone or giving of your time is more meaningful.
5. Stick to a budget. The cost of holiday shopping mounts quickly and can make people feel out of control and anxious. Draw up a realistic budget before you start shopping and stick to it.
6. Stay on schedule. As much as you possibly can, try to stick with your normal routine during the holidays. Don’t stay too late at parties. Don’t pull an all-nighter wrapping presents. Disrupting your schedule and losing out on sleep can make your mood deteriorate.
7. Don’t rely on substances. Remember that alcohol is a depressant and abusing it will leave you feeling worse. Be particularly careful if you are taking medication.
8. If you take medication, don’t miss doses. In the hustle of the holidays, it’s easy to slack off and miss medication. Make reminders to take your medication and make sure you have enough stock for the whole holiday period – refill your script before you go away and don’t wait till you run out to get your meds.