’Tis the season to be jolly. But not everyone feels joy in heart and mind this time of year (“The blues are spreading,” Dec. 21).
As a mood disorders specialist at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, I treat people who are suffering from holiday blues. We often have too many demands on our time this time of year, which can be overwhelming.
I suggest a combination of strategies to help regain some of the joy and happiness of the holidays: making sure you are getting enough sleep, are exercising, and are eating healthfully.
Try scheduling down time, to allow yourself to relax, pray, and meditate. And remember to laugh; it beats crying.
People should reframe their expectations, so that they are more realistic about what can be accomplished with the time, money, and energy they have in this season. Create traditions that work for you, instead of a storybook version you’ve envisioned.
By making just a few changes, you may find the joy of the season.
Professor of Psychiatry Ohio State University Columbus