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Tips to overcome holiday depression and anxiety

Anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness are more common during the holiday season. See tips from professionals about how to beat it.

SAN DIEGO — It's the most wonderful time of the year, but the season can cause some to feel the holiday blues. 

"It's a lot of stress for people," said Mary Cipriani, a therapist at San Diego Institute for Couples and Families. She and Marc Sherman specialize in marriage and family therapy.

They say anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness are more common during the holidays and magnified for people who already experience these conditions.

"Most of the anxiety is around several reasons. Travel, finding gifts, getting the right gifts, and spending time with family. People get overwhelmed with all of those things," Sherman said.

After the death of a loved one, holidays may bring up more sadness. They recommend creating new traditions, getting out in nature, and self-care. This could include getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising.

"Talk to someone you can't do it alone. Family friends, have someone to talk to; that's the number one thing," he said.

They said it's essential to connect with people. 

Isolating yourself can have very negative impacts.

"We are at 500 percent higher risk of immune disease, deficiencies, heart attacks, strokes, depression, and anxiety. We won't live as long or make as much money," Cipriani said.

Of course, don't hesitate to contact a professional to brighten your holiday blues.

"People always think it's only when things are bad they should come to talk to us. talk to us when things are good when you want someone to bounce ideas off of," Sherman said.

Find more mental health resources here

A list of local resources here.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online.

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