How to cope with holiday stress and depression

thanksgiving safety

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Tis’ the season to be jolly. But for many people, this is the most stressful and sometimes, depressing time of the year.

Cooking the Thanksgiving dinner, getting the groceries, putting up the tree, buying the presents, and planning a party. Add that into the already stressful daily life of holding a full-time job, taking care of the kids and balancing a checkbook, and you’ve got a recipe for stress.

“I think it’s really important for people to pay attention to their own stress levels and reach out to others for support. If they don’t have a natural support networks with family and friends, there is a lot of community based programs that they can reach out to,” said Karin Jeffers, the President & CEO of Clinical and Support Options in Northampton.

A new study shows that 45% of adults say they’ve experience sadness or depression during a change to the winter season. Tom Arcouette of Northampton told 22News what triggers his holiday stress.

“It’s shopping. Trying to get out there and get out in between everybody and find what you are looking for. I try and shop other times of the year to get my stuff.”

But not everybody has a traditional plan.

“So instead of making it so important that we see our family and have a gathering on the holidays, we see them at other times of the year and we actually don’t always spend the holidays with them now and we find it’s a lot less stressful,” said Johnna Paulson of Easthampton.

Clinical and Support Options says it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your loved ones if they seem withdrawn, are sleeping more or are irritable or isolated. It might be a sign of a mental health issue.

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