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Avoiding The Holiday Blues

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It’s normal to feel blue from time to time, especially with all the rushing and spending during the holiday season.  Marketers are targeting each and every one of us at a frenetic pace; a pace which we are not hard-wired to keep in line with.  Celebrating the holidays just comes naturally; but for many, they are more depressing. With the darker skies coming earlier, and the opportunities changing along with the calendar, it can have a negative impact on our day-to-day persona.

Jolyn Farber, recently named Ms. New York America 2018, is trying to change this for as many people as possible.  Through education, volunteerism, and activism, she aims to make every season, including the holiday season, easier for those with mental challenges.  Ms. Farber is an entrepreneur on a mission, and that mission is to help as many people as possible avoid the holiday blues.

“People don’t realize the true impact of mental health issues,” said Farber.  “They challenge and impact each and every one of us – from those suffering with chronic conditions to the caregivers, friends, communities, and families helping them as well.”

Ms. Farber started helping those with mental and physical challenges in the New York area years ago, and has expanded her vision across the country.  From volunteering to education to donations, she has continued to give tirelessly to the organizations – and the individuals needing the most help.

“This holiday season I have decided to give back in honor of those who struggle every day with mental and physical ailments.  It’s time to stop and think about what we have, and how we can change the world, even in this small way,” said Farber.

As part of her promise to educate, she wants us to recognize some of the signs and stressors that we need to look out for, regardless of whether it is during the holidays or a regular Wednesday.  According to Ms. Farber, it is essential that we discuss our feelings with someone trained to help us.  Whether that’s a personal therapist, a family member, or even a hotline, if you are feeling depressed, know there is help available.  Taking a breather from all the hoopla and recharging – regardless of how you do it – will make a difference.  Finally, make awkward situations less awkward, by setting aside your differences with people, and knowing you can always say no to attending an event if it is too much for you.  And if you have to say no to protect yourself, don’t beat yourself up about it.

Most importantly, remember that the holidays are the perfect time to reflect on the effort and care our families, caregivers, and friends give those with special needs on a daily basis. If you can’t afford a gift, a simple handmade card or a mere thank you will make all the difference in the world to them.  They’re on your team, and it is always appropriate to give a hug or a proverbial “high five” when someone makes a difference.  Just doing this will make a very big difference for them.

The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé

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