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Courtney Parrott

While the holidays are a time of joy and sharing, they can also be a time of significant physical and mental stress. Managing holiday stress requires setting priorities as well as avoiding or reducing as many stressors as possible, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts have some tips to help you manage holiday stress and feelings of sadness.

Winter blues and that ‘SAD’ feeling

Many people begin to feel unhappy around the holidays, and the reasons can range from the weather to personal loss, feeling disconnected from others, financial strain and myriad other reasons, said Miquela Smith, AgriLife Extension health specialist for the Disaster Assessment and Recovery Unit and a Mental Health First Aid instructor. “In some instances, these winter blues can be more serious and affect how a person feels, thinks and handles daily activities,” Smith said. “Usually, holiday blues are temporary feelings of loss, anxiety, tension, frustration or loneliness. But more significant changes in mood or behavior could mean the person is suffering from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, which is a type of depression.”

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