Coping with Holiday Stress & SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Coping with Holiday Stress & SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) – Sometimes, the holidays bring about feelings of joy, celebration, and warmth! Other moments, it can bring about stress, loneliness, and depression…Learn about coping with the holidays and all they bring right here on Newsymom!

This is Public Health is brought to you in partnership with the Tuscarawas County Health Department.

In general, we’re excited for all the fun and cheer the holiday season brings! With holiday food, presents, and the guilty pleasure of those Hallmark Christmas movies, there are so many reasons to be happy during the season.

However, it’s not always magical, and we could feel stressed out, sad, lonely, or even depressed. Getting the family together can be fun, but it’s also so much to manage with activities, food, presents, and finances. On top of that, you may be experiencing winter blues or your first holiday without a loved one who passed away within the last year.

The Tuscarawas County Health Department wants you to take the best care of yourself and your family this season! That’s why we’re sharing the list on how to cope with the holidays this season:

Tip #1: Dealing with stressful schedules

The holidays are a wonderful time to get together with family you haven’t seen as much this year! However, learn to say “no” and set boundaries for the sake of your mental health. Some tips for hosting family get-togethers this season: cut the party short (2-3 hours max), make it a potluck or order catering so you aren’t slaving in the kitchen all day, and choose a day that’s convenient for you as the host. Don’t double book yourself. (For instance, hosting a party on the same day you work…)

If you’re a party go-er, help out the host by bringing a dish, show up on time (and don’t stay past the time you’re welcome), and arrange your own transportation so you aren’t depending on someone else for a ride and can leave when you want.

Tip #2: Lower your expectations

Whether you’re hosting parties, in charge of presents, cooking, or organizing events, you might be setting high expectations for yourself! Take a realistic look at what you’re signing up to do, scale back, and do what you can actually accomplish. (Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Ask for help!)

Tip #3: Don’t isolate yourself

When you’re feeling lonely or sad, do your best to avoid isolating yourself. Trust us when we say you aren’t a burden to your loved ones when you ask them to spend some time and hear you vent. Share your struggles. Comfort and be comforted when it comes to phoning a friend! If the thought of calling a family member or friend seems to be too much of a “burden”, you have the following options when in a mental health crisis:

  • Call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.
  • Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
  • Text HOME to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line.

Go to the Emergency Room or call 911 if you have thoughts of harming yourself or someone else.

Tip #4: Use the concept of Koselig to combat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, AKA Seasonal Depression)

The city of Oslo, Norway, gets about six hours of sunlight each day in the month of December? The sparsely populated northernmost region of Norway doesn’t see sunlight at all from November 20 to January 22. (How the Norwegian Concept of Koselig Can Get You Through the Winter, Yet, Norway is reportedly one of the happiest places to live time and time again! How do they do it? 

The answer lies in the concept of Koselig. You can do your own research of Koselig; however, in essence, Koselig is a “vibe”. Think warm homes, cuddling in plush blankets with loved ones, fuzzy socks, warmth from the hot chocolate in your mug… All of those little things add up to make you happier. Koselig is about warmth and togetherness. There’s a reason the holidays are shared with family!

Enjoy the moments you have with your family this Christmas!

Tip #5: Stay off social media

Whether you believe social media connects or is outright evil, one drawback is that you see all the fun things, experiences, and lifestyles someone else is posting about that you don’t have. If you chronically compare yourself to others, social media like Facebook and Instagram is torture. Limit how much time you spend, and if you want to live happier, stay off as much as possible! Live in your moments. Be present. And remember, social media often doesn’t share the whole picture.

The Tuscarawas County Health Department wants your mind, body, and soul at 100%! Remember, happiness is a feeling, not an end goal. Meaning, if you chase happiness thinking, “Oh, if I got that promotion/had that money/looked like this, I’d be so happy.”, you’ll only find disappointment. You only find happiness in the moments you are happy: doing things you love with people you love. If you do more of the things that make you happy, you’ll be happier overall!

You’d be surprised at the number of services the Tuscarawas County Health Department offers you and your family to make your health numero uno. Call them at (330) 343-5555 x. 100 to learn more! You can also visit them at to check out all their service offerings.

Keep following along on Facebook (@tchdnow) for the latest news and tips to keep your mental health your top priority!

Melissa Klatt


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