Lubbock counselor offers tips to deal with holiday stress

Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 4:46 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2022 at 6:36 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A lot of people experience stress and depression during the holidays, overwhelmed by their own high expectations.

We spoke with Licensed Counselor Carrianne Crouch to get some tips on how to avoid the holiday blues.

“We visualize what the holiday is supposed to look like, all joyful and beautiful and we imagine what it should be in our head and that can be detrimental to our moods,” Crouch said.

Crouch says high expectations and the effort to try and keep everybody happy during holiday outings can actually cause people to feel worse. She says the best way to avoid the added stress is to not put too much pressure on that holiday happiness.

“If you are feeling lonely, you might have recently lost someone or a divorce, or financial burdens - whatever it might be, just accept what it is, don’t force happiness upon yourself,” Crouch said.

Another big trigger for seasonal depression is overconsumption of food and alcohol.

“Alcohol and substance abuse is known to worsen your mood, so you should avoid that,” Crouch said.

Instead, Crouch says people should spend time doing things they truly enjoy. That may be avoiding the hustle of the holidays completely, or surrounding yourself with loved ones.

And if you just can’t beat the blues, it is important to know when you should seek help.

“If you notice yourself struggling to get out of bed, struggling to interact with people, struggling - just sleeping all the time, or you feel like there is nothing to look forward to, you do need to seek out some help,” Crouch said.

Crouch says seeing counselors, or joining support groups are great ways to ease holiday depression and stress.