CONTACT MY OFFICE:
(503) 222-6678 - Portland, Oregon
(360) 256-0448 Vancouver, Washington
   info@kmarshack.com

Therapy

ADD & ADHD
ADOPTIVE FAMILIES
ASPERGER & MARRIAGE
COUPLES IN BUSINESS
DEPRESSION & STRESS
ENTREPRENEURIAL LIFE
EXPAT ONLINE THERAPY
HIGH CONFLICT DIVORCE
MARRIAGE COUNSELING
MIND & BODY HEALTH
PARENTING
PERSONAL GROWTH
RECOMMENDED LINKS
NEWS CENTER
ONLINE STORE
Overview
ADD in Adults
Parenting a Child with ADD
Overview
Articles
Overview
Coping with Anxiety Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Overcoming Depression
Managing Stress
Conquering Fears & Phobias
Overcoming Social Phobia
Overview
Couples at Work & Home
Dual Career Couples
Families in Business
Overview
Recognizing High Conflict Divorce
Overview
Conflict & Communication
Infidelity
Couples at Work & Home
Love, Sex & Intimacy
Maintaining Strong Marriage
Dual Career Couples
Codependence
Advice for Singles Only
Overview
Alcoholism Recovery
Stop Smoking
Weight Control
Headache Relief
Holistic Health
Managing Blood Pressure
Releasing Unresolved Stress
Overview
Am I a Good Parent
Blended Families
Gifted Child
Coping with ADD/ADHD
Adoptive Families
Overview
Gifted Adults
When to Seek Help
Psychotherapy Options
Laid-Off from Work
Overview
Calendar of Events
Media Coverage
Newsletter
Press Center
Seminars
Related New Stories
Subscribe
Sample
Enriching Your Live Archive
Entrepreneurial Couples Archive

Enriching Your Life!

Sign up for my FREE newsletter! Get practical tips for you and your family.

Archive - Enriching Your Life Newsletter

Post-Holiday Let-Down, Depression

Sunday, December 02, 2001


ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:

  • How to avoid the post-holiday-let-down
  • Darkness and depression

HOW TO AVOID THE POST-HOLIDAY-LET-DOWN

Let’s take a look at this phenomenon so that you can be better prepared to handle your blues when and if they come, or recognize when a loved one needs help. It’s really not hard to understand why we postpone depression during the holidays. We are distracted. There is a flurry of activity to keep us busy. The stores are very inviting with the decorations, music and multiple activities to distract us from normal life. There are concerts, plays, ball games, holiday specials on television, the latest holiday release in the movie theaters. There is an understanding that the real work is postponed until January. There are parties and family get-togethers. All of this serves to distract us from our daily concerns. We are swept along into a river of denial about what our true life situation is all about. We come to believe that the holiday spirit is healing and rejuvenating and that all of our problems will melt away. At the very least, we put our problems on hold because we are just too darned busy to attend to them.

Then it’s suddenly January and we are flooded with feelings and frozen with fear. The holidays have come and gone and we are no better off. The same painful family problems exist. Love interests did not magically materialize over the holidays. The winter ski vacation leaves you feeling frazzled and in debt. You are as disenchanted with your work situation as before the holidays, and no closer to a solution. I call this time of year, the Post-Holiday Let-Down. And it is one of the most difficult times of the year for most people, whether or not you actually have something to brood about. In January, you can no longer allow distractions to keep you from the reality of your life, love or work situation. There are no distractions to facilitate denial. Just two to three months of dark, cold, dreary days, with no significant holidays to break up the tedium.

Just as with eating well and getting exercise, in order to maintain your psychological health, a regular routine needs to be established. It’s hard not to be distracted by the holidays so go ahead and enjoy these diversions. But recognize that they are not solutions. Be honest with yourself and do the hard work of revamping the lifestyle or personality that lead to your life/love/career dilemmas. Do something each day to resolve these problems and to build a new plan of action for the days after the holidays. Some likely activities include reading and attending seminars on topics specific to your situation, meditation, increased levels of whole-person exercise such as yoga and tai chi, and joining a support group. In this way you will perhaps avoid or at least learn to cope with the Post-Holiday Let-Down.

DARKNESS AND DEPRESSION

If the shorter daylight hours of Standard Time are having a negative effect on your mood, consider stepping into the light.

Studies show that light therapy can be an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder, a cyclical depressive disorder that some people experience during the darker days of winter. In one study of patients who experienced little natural light, just 30 minutes of bright light therapy per day for five consecutive days alleviated depression in half of the participants.

Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter. For more information about my work as a marriage and family therapist and family/business consultant please visit my website www.kmarshack.com. You’ll find self-help tips, a library of family business articles, information on on-line consultation and much more. To contact my office call (360) 256-0448 or (503) 222-6678 or email info@kmarshack.com.