'Holiday blues' got you down?

'Holiday blues' got you down?

From Personal Counseling and Testing

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Well, not really.

The December holidays: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year's. For some, a time packed with parties, celebrations and social gatherings. For others, a season filled with sadness, loneliness and anxiety.

Balancing the demands of the holiday season – shopping, parties and family obligations – and the typical end-of-the-semester stressors – papers, finals and grades – can be very difficult. Imagine wrapping presents while trying to ace a history final!

Holiday depression, also referred to as the "holiday blues," affects more than one million people each year. It is a very common experience, which can be triggered by stress, fatigue, unrealistic holiday expectations, financial limitations, inability to be with family and friends during the holidays, or pressure to be with family and friends.

Holiday depression is a common response to a stressful season; however, if feelings of hopelessness and anxiety persist for longer than two weeks and interfere with your normal, daily routine, you may be suffering from more than a case of the holiday blues. This season, consider taking the UST online mental health questionnaire, available free to all students. Just click on this link to begin the anonymous questionnaire.

The questionnaires are confidential and provide immediate feedback as well as information on how to get help if needed. The most wonderful time of the year can be very stressful, and the St. Thomas Counseling Center staff is here to listen and help.