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GIBBS: Avoiding the Holiday Blues

So true.

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The six weeks encompassing Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s—collectively called “the holidays”—are for most, a magically unique time of year, filled with holiday carols, reunions, displays of colorful lights, love, and affection, often expressed through gift giving.

For the better part of 2020, we have all been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the stresses brought on by racial tensions, and the political dramas of the 2020 election. Now, we have to make hard decisions on whether to gather with our loved ones for the holidays, or continue to socially distance from them until we get the all clear.

For some, the holidays bring hurt. Caused by factors such as those already mentioned, along with the weather (seasonal depression); extended separation, death, financial stress, unemployment, unrealistic expectations, hyper-sentimentality, guilt, or overspending. Holiday depression—also called the “holiday blues”—can zap the merriment out of even the most wonderful time of the year. Now, one must make hard decisions on whether to visit, whom to visit, and how to prepare for the visit—such as getting a COVID-19 screen prior to the visit.

Trending: Biden Looks Straight Into Camera, Says America Is ‘Morally Deprived’ — Watch

The “holiday blues” only seem to get worse as we near the end of the year.

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Holiday depression affects one million people every year. Men and women, young and old, all fall victim to feelings of sadness, loneliness, anxiety, guilt, and fatigue during this emotionally charged time.

Men’s Health Network offers the following 10 suggestions to help you identify and ward off—or at least better cope with—potential sources of holiday depression.

1. Acknowledge that you’re hurting. Others may expect certain attitudes and behaviors from you that you may not feel. The retail industry’s “holiday hype” presents an overly sentimental, nostalgic, and even imaginary notion of the holidays (usually to try to sell you something). Sill, feelings of sadness, loneliness, or depression don’t automatically vanish just because it’s the holidays. Acknowledge your pain, be open and honest with others, refuse to feel guilty, and get help if necessary. It’s ok to laugh! Don’t be afraid! You won’t be struck by a bolt of lightning for laughing. Remember, a closed mouth won’t get fed.

2. Have a plan to deal with your feelings. Try to surround yourself with people who care about and support you—family, friends, or church members. Exercise programs (aerobic activities such as walking, running, cycling, etc.) are recommended because of their mood-elevating ability). If necessary, see your doctor or therapist. And learn to say “no.” Others’ expectations are not a reason for your own mental health to suffer.

3. Set realistic expectations. Keep your expectations realistic rather than perfectionistic. Prioritize and reduce self-imposed holiday preparations. Delegate responsibilities. Realistically plan your budget, spending, and shopping. Do less and enjoy more. Obsessing over endless details is bound to change this long-awaited, once-a-year season from a time of exuberance to one of exhaustion. Make it a point to be honest with yourself, and if necessary and possible, limit the time and situations/people you want to be around. When you’ve had enough of either, make sure that you have a way to leave or step away.

4. Take time for yourself. Why is it called holiday depression? Because, for people who suffer from it, the negative feelings don’t occur at other times of the year. Remind yourself of what you enjoyed during the previous months, then continue those things during the holidays. Make yourself a priority! Instead of a “Discount Double Check,” give yourself an “Emotional Double Check”. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel—just don’t stay there too long. Getting enough rest, eating and drinking in moderation, exercising, and continuing other favorite activities can maintain normalcy, routine, control, and predictability.

5. Consider that your depression may actually be caused by this time of year. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, occurs because of reduced exposure to sunlight—which is just what happens during the holiday season when daylight hours are shorter. Check with your doctor to see if light therapy might be beneficial for you.

6. Help others. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, nursing homes, churches, and scores of other organizations can always use volunteers, especially at critical times of the year. Additionally, you’ll benefit from the company of other people around you rather than being alone.At the same time, help others help you! Tell those who care about you what you do or don’t need fromthem. Most people truly want to help but they often don’t know what to do or say.

7. Bury the hatchet. Perfect families don’t magically appear during the holidays, but family conflicts can. Letting go and forgiving can help heal past wounds. Additionally, family feuds can be deliberately set aside until after the high-tension holidays in order to facilitate everyone’s peace and enjoyment at this special—but challenging—time.

8. Start your own traditions. Families and traditions both change with time. (Every tradition had to start somewhere, right? Rather than reminiscing over the good old days,accept the fact that change may be necessary, grasp the season as it is now, look forward to the future, and create your own family traditions that can be enjoyed and even preserved for future generations. This is the year of Zoom meetings, online parties, and other virtual gatherings. They are much cheaper, safer, and easier to organize than traveling. All you need is a webcam and internet access.

9. Keep your alcohol intake low. Don’t pour gasoline on a fire. Remember, alcohol has a depressive effect on your nervous system and your mood, so if you’re experiencing the holiday blues, drinking too much alcohol will make everything worse.

10. Rededicate yourself to your spirituality. The “reason for the season” is often swallowed up by maddening materialism that can distract from the history, meaning, and significance of holiday celebrations. Step back, slow down, and refocus on transcendent, eternal matters. Rededicate yourself to spiritual pursuits, such as church attendance, church work, prayer life, and other disciplines. Regain the focus originally intended by this time of year.

11. Every day, veterans who served in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard connect with proven resources and effective treatments for depression and find solutions that improve their lives. It can be difficult to handle depression on your own, so talking to your family and friends can be a first step. You can also consider connecting with:

–Your doctor. Ask if your doctor has experience treating Veterans or can refer you to someone who does. If you feel comfortable enough with your physician, he or she may be able to help you find tools to manage loss of interest or pleasure even without direct experience with Veterans.

–A mental health professional, such as a therapist

–Your local VA Medical Center or Vet Center. VA specializes in the care and treatment of Veterans.

–A spiritual or religious adviser

Alphonso Gibbs, Jr. is an Advisory Board Member for the Men’s Health Network, www.MensHealthNetwork.org

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Biden Looks Straight Into Camera, Says America Is ‘Morally Deprived’ — Watch

Proud American, right here.

John Salvatore

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He’s right. For once, Joe Biden is right. America is “morally deprived,” he just didn’t mention the people responsible for the decline. Because of far-left policies, this great nation allows women to get away with murder; allows lawbreakers and criminals to become citizens; and hands out “free” money to those unwilling to work. The only problem with Biden’s sentence is that he didn’t use the words “Democrats are” before “morally derived.” Biden blabbered, “I believe we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. And the simple truth is our soul be troubled as long as systemic racism is allowed to persist. We can’t eliminate ‘zimply’ overnight. We can’t ‘eliminateverthing.’ But it’s corrosive, it’s destructive and it’s costly. It costs every American. Not just who felt the sting of racial injustice. We’re not just less of a – We’re not just a nation of morally deprived because of systemic racism. We’re also less prosperous. We’re less successful. We’re less secure.” WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=33&v=OM6qa7WgFoU&feature=emb_title From Fox News: Biden revealed the federal government will purchase an additional 100 million doses of vaccine each from Pfizer and Moderna as part of its effort to ramp up the unprecedented vaccination drive. Even with the acquisition of more vaccine supplies, Biden warned that distribution will take time and other precautions, such as wearing masks, should remain a priority for Americans. “The brutal truth is, it’s going to take months before we can the majority of Americans vaccinated – months,” Biden said. “In the next few months, masks, not vaccines, are the best defense against COVID-19. Experts say that wearing masks from now just until April would save 50,000 lives that otherwise would pass away if we don’t wear these masks.” Sound off on Joe in the comments section…

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Biden: America ‘Has Never Fully Lived Up to the Founding Principles of This Nation’

He just loves America so much.

John Salvatore

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President Goofy said some pretty silly things about America and the Trump Administration on Tuesday afternoon. Better get used to hearing that. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not – or whether the country can hang on long enough – we’re stuck with Joe and Kamala. These people and their supporters loathe America. It couldn’t be clearer. WATCH: https://twitter.com/tomselliott/status/1354147571552440320 https://twitter.com/tomselliott/status/1354149480367595521 Reaction from Right Scoop: Americans have not bought into a zero sum game and that’s not how America operates. But this is the bizarrely skewed version of America that Democrats want Americans to believe is happening. Which is why they always drag out this tired and very dishonest propaganda. One of the things that makes America great is that everyone in this country has the opportunity to succeed as long as government stays out of the way. It doesn’t matter if someone grows up in poverty or with a silver spoon in their mouth. Just look at Ben Carson as a great example! Joe is attempting to make it clear that he will be the most “progressive” president this country has ever seen. Not good. Not good at all.

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