Seasonal blues setting in

Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 10:42am

For many, the holidays are the "the season to be jolly." For some Ark-La-Tex residents, however, the seasonal rush can mean a case of the holiday blues. Dr. Bruce McCormick, a Shreveport psycholigst, says there are many factors that cause the seasonal blues, including shorter daylight hours and a larger to-do list.

"It's a combination of those risk factors with the expectation that this should be a totally happy and totally joyous time, just like on the television commericals and holiday cards," he said. Some studies have also shown that cooler temperatures (and less sunshine) mean are bodies are producing less Vitamin D, which can impact our overall health.

Psychology Today, a medical journal, says up to 20% of Americans experience mild seasonal sadness, with up to 5% suffering from severe depression. However, Dr. McCormick says there are steps we can take to fight off those less-than-joyous feelings. "Be flexible. It doesn't really matter if the sweet potato casserole gets forgotten. That's not the end of the world."

But one thing we shouldn't forget? Our health. In a time when Christmas cookies dominate store shelves, he suggests a daily regimen of exercise...and a critical eye on just how much we spoon onto that holiday china.

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