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Published on December 15th, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Family, Expenses And Travel: How To Stay Jolly This Holiday Season

You can beat the holiday blues with a few simple steps.

(NAPSI)—The holidays can be a joyous time, when friends and family join together to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. However, for many, the season can also be a source of frustration and even depression.

A survey from University of Phoenix® College of Social Sciences found that nearly half (45 percent) of U.S. adults say they have experienced mental health issues, such as sadness or depression, around the fall and winter festivities.

The survey also found that roughly 40 percent of U.S. adults who have had these feelings cited personal grief (44 percent), loneliness (43 percent) or financial strain (38 percent) as the challenges that led to feelings of seasonal depression.

“Those prone to mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, can be more vulnerable to holiday-season triggers,” said Carl Sheperis, Ph.D., program dean for University of Phoenix College of Social Sciences. “This makes awareness of and access to treatment critically important during the winter months.”


A case of the holiday blues can make reaching out to others more difficult than usual, but this is when connecting is the most important. Spending time alone may only serve to reinforce feelings of depression. In fact, spending time with loved ones can actually be therapeutic, with nearly half of U.S. adults (47 percent) citing time with family and friends as a way to deal with sadness during the holiday season.

Take Control

Although many feel the holiday season is filled with “musts,” individuals are ultimately in control of their own time, money and attitude. People shouldn’t feel obligated to attend or stay longer than they feel is necessary at holiday gatherings they’re not particularly excited about.

Since holidays can also take away from personal routines and goals, it’s important to be proactive about physical and emotional upkeep: sticking to diet, exercise, meditation and sleep schedules can help even the busiest people with stress management.

Focus on Gratitude

The holidays are filled with highs and lows but focusing on the negatives may draw people to view the world in a dim light. In contrast, finding elements of gratitude can lead to a more peaceful mind-set. If stuck in a holiday rut, family and friends might consider tapping into their favorite holiday traditions to bring the focus back to what matters most. And developing new rituals can also be an exciting way to bring positivity back to the surface.

Helpful Resources

While some of the steps above may help tackle the blues over the holidays, professional counseling is sometimes the best option for those who are experiencing stress and depression.

However, while almost half of U.S. adults (48 percent) surveyed say they would be likely to seek counseling for their friends and family around the festive time of year, only two in five (40 percent) would be likely to seek out counseling for themselves.

Today, there are many walk-in clinics and counseling centers that can help the everyday person dealing with feelings of stress and depression.

University of Phoenix College of Social Sciences, for example, is committed to training professional counselors who break down barriers to mental health care, such as lack of awareness and stigma. Through programs like the Master of Science in Counseling with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, University of Phoenix is helping individuals combat mental illness during the holidays and beyond.

For more information about these programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and more, visit

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix, September 28−October 8, 2015, among 1,014 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.


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