Overcoming January Blues

By WEEK Producer

January 5, 2012 Updated Jan 5, 2012 at 7:14 PM CDT

After all the celebration comes to an end, and the decorations are put away, there tends to be something that overcomes most American’s, January Blues. Dr. Joy explores the symptoms, its causes and give you some tips to beat the Blues and it’s depressive hold.

What are the causes of January Blues?

·The holidays are over and there isn’t much to look forward to (no major holidays, no breaks from work, spring is far away, etc.)

·After having time off from work during the holiday season, going back to work is difficult for many who won’t get time off until summer.

·Budget concerns as the credit card bills pile in after the December overspending binge

·Fatigue and unhealthy behaviors, which were part of the “holiday spirit.” Whether overeating, over-consuming, or not getting enough sleep, January is a time when most Americans feel the effects of the holidays.

·Thinking back at the holidays with guilt and remorse. It is a time of self-blame and sadness for many whose holiday did not come out as they expected.

Are there some other concerns that add to the January depression?

·Research indicates that seasonal affective disorder adds to many American’s depression. As you know, the lack of sunlight affects many Americans and it multiplies the effects of depression.

·Many American’s realize they got caught in the holiday frenzy- whether it was related to spending, or being caught up in the frenzy of activities. January tends to be a time when everyone is exhausted physically and emotionally but the new year brings on new expectations and demands in the workplace

·The holidays are a time when most people try to be happy and joyful. After the holidays lots of families are faced with issues related to relationships (divorce), facing issues with alcoholism that displayed it’s effects during the holidays, and dealing with financial concerns and the realities of the economy.

What are some suggestions to beat the January blues?

·Acknowledge that you are blue. Just recognizing the issue is half the battle.

·Reach Out. The greatest step you can make is to reach out and try to socialize and be with people who love and support you. Remember that we tend to isolate when we are depressed, so engaging with others help relieve some symptoms of aloneness

·Talk to a licensed counselor. 70-80 percent of those who are depressed can be helped with 4-6 therapy sessions. Remember that therapy gives you skills that can break through destructive thoughts and actions.

·Go out outside. Go for a walk, open the shades and try light therapy if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder.

·Focus on the positives. Remember you have a choice… you can focus on the guilt, blame, negatives and concerns, or you can start to focus on gratitude, self love and seeing what your life holds for you to enjoy.

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