Christmas: “It's the most wonderful time of the year," right?
Maybe not for everyone.
With all the social gatherings, family events, shopping and decorating, many people can experience stress, emotional negative feelings and a sense of being overwhelmed, said Stephanie Hogan, director of the emergency response team based at the Napa County Crisis Center on Old Sonoma Road in Napa.
"Christmas is known as a positive time, but can be negative for some," Hogan said.
“It can be a time of sadness for many, especially those who have lost a loved one. People also set high goals for themselves and expect to be happier than usual. They stress to make sure everything on their list gets done, which can cause pressure and stress,” she continued.
“(During) the holidays, especially the New Year, people believe that things are going to change — be better. And very often things don’t change. People feel a letdown and disappointment," Hogan said.
But only after the holidays do many Napans reach out for the help they need, she added.
“During the holidays, people tend to get caught up in the moment. It isn’t until the normal routine resumes and people feel the let-down of the holidays that we start getting a lot of calls,” Hogan said.
Hogan has some tips for beating the holiday blues that can hit hard this time of year:
- Worrying about getting everything done can cause you to lose sleep. Set a realistic goal for yourself everyday.
- Don’t procrastinate, just do what you can handle.
- Ask for help, don’t try to do everything yourself.
- Eat and drink in moderation. It will help you not only physically but mentally as well.
- If you regularly go to the gym or other activities, don’t stop just because it is the holidays.
- And above all, be nice to yourself.
Logan also cautions about overspending.
“In these economic times, no one should overspend, even if it is Christmas. The holidays come and go, but the bills can come back to haunt you,” she said.
“Remember, people might not remember what you bought them for Christmas, but they will certainly remember how you treated them. Christmas is a time for family. It doesn’t have to be a huge blow-out.”
Hogan urged anyone feeling serious holiday depression to call the crisis center at 253-4711.
“There is always someone there to to talk to 24/7. All callers can remain anonymous,” she said.
“If you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, talk to your family, clergyman or someone you trust. Don’t try to ignore it and think it will go away.”
How do you beat the blues at holiday time? Find out what some Napans are doing in Shoppers Share Tips on Handling Holiday Stress.