December brings to mind Christmas lights, Santa Claus, family gatherings and parades.
However, it is also a time of stress for many people, whether it is shopping for the perfect gift, planning a holiday trip, or coping with the loss of a loved one.
This year, there’s another factor: inflation.
According to a survey by AFLAC, in 2022, 78% of the people surveyed said they were choosing one cost-cutting measure this holiday season.
“If you’re wondering if you’re feeling the holiday blues, it can present itself in two different ways. It can present physically with a backache, headache, fatigue, you’re just feeling tired all the time,” explained SLO County Behavioral Health Public Information Officer Caroline Schmidt. “Mentally, if you are noticing signs of depression or tiredness, maybe you’re also a little bit on edge, you’re overreacting quickly to things that are making you upset. ”
To avoid the holiday blues, it is important to put yourself first.
Schmidt advises the following:
- Set boundaries with your friends and family members for gatherings.
- Think about volunteering.
- Know your substance limits.
- Don’t overextend or overschedule.
- Stick to your budget.
“If you’re noticing yourself get stressed out or feeling anxious and overwhelmed, read a book, set aside time to watch that Hallmark movie that you have cued up, really focus on yourself and making sure you stay stress-free, so when you do have time to spend with loved ones, you’re the best version of yourself,” added Schmidt.
For those dealing with a recent loss, the county reminds the community that Hospice SLO and Wilshire Hospice offer free grief support groups.
For more tips and key hotline numbers, click here.