Holidays can bring sadness resulting from stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, and this year the added restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

So what can be done to cope with holiday stress and depression?  And what can we do to help another person dealing with depression and stress?

Keep in mind that even persons who do not view themselves as depressed may develop stress responses, such as headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating, or insomnia.

Some ideas for coping with stress and depression include acknowledging your feelings, making realistic expectations and goals for the Holiday Season, reaching out to others, being realistic about what you can and cannot do, learning to say no, and stick to a budget.

If you find yourself feeling irritable and hopeless, unable to sleep, persistently sad and anxious, and generally unable to face routine chores and these feeling last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

And some ways we might be able to help others deal with depression and stress is to provide non-judgmental support.  Be optimistic but realistic; keep things in perspective; and guide them towards realistic goals.

Take steps to prevent stress and depression during the Holiday Season.  Make plans. Keep positive thoughts.  Enjoy the peace and joy of the Holiday Season.

For more information, contact NMPASI, P.O. Box 503529, Saipan, MP 96950 or call  235-7273/4; TTY 235-7278; web: nmpasi.org

JEANNE RAYPHAND

Saipan, CNMI

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