Mar. 23 --
TUESDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Eating a balanced diet and staying active are key to beating the blues this holiday season, say mental health experts.
"I see more cases of depression in January than any other time of year," Dr. Gary L. Malone, medical director and chief of behavioral health at Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth, Texas, said in a prepared statement.
Once the party is over, and the wrapping paper has been picked up, many otherwise festive people may feel unusually down.
According to Baylor health system experts, the holiday season is fraught with triggers for depression. Eating, drinking and spending too much are among the causes of holiday blues. Add family tension or grief over lost loved ones, and the mix can become potent.
According to Malone, there are a few things people can do to avoid post-holiday letdown:
If these steps don't help ease the blues away, consider talking to a physician.
The symptoms of depression include a persistent sad or "empty" mood; sleeping too little or too much; weight loss or weight gain; loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities; restlessness; difficulty concentrating; tiredness; and thoughts of death or suicide.
To learn more about coping with the holiday blues, visit the American Psychological Association.
SOURCE: Baylor Health Care System, news release, December 2007