Not So Merry and Bright

While depression can happen throughout the entire year, stress and anxiety during the holiday seasons in November and December can cause even those that are typically happy and content to feel loneliness and lack of fulfillment.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons.”

A season full of festive celebrations, the time between Thanksgiving through New Year’s is often seen as a time for gratitude, religion, family, friends and traditions. Unfortunately, for many people, there are more than enough reasons to feel the holiday blues.

Social isolation, grieving past years, family dysfunction, feelings of gloom, overwhelming stress, financial difficulties, seasonal depression and cold dark winter nights are all contributors to this phenomenon. Doctor of Psychiatry Norman Rosenthal cited that six percent of the US population feels the effects of SAD every year.

Members of the Journal’s Editorial Board agreed that this time of year can be very stressful, but completely worth the work. So for those already feeling the gloom of this stressful season, we have a few ideas to help you stay positive.

Find Sunlight

Dermatologists agree that getting at least 20 minutes of sunshine everyday helps in the fight against depression.


Before shopping, making a plan and budget can help you avoid going into debt.

Organize and Schedule

Avoid the stress that comes with time-consuming events and forgetfulness by scheduling everything in advance and sticking to your plan.


Helping those less fortunate than you through the holidays can help lift your own spirits.


Remember to take a deep breath. Make time to smell the cinnamon. Do something for yourself because burning out will do nothing but frustrate you further.

The Journal’s staff members wish everyone a happy holiday season. If you or someone you know is struggling, be sure to call SUU’s counseling center at (435) 865-8621 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Story By
Savannah Palmer