Letters to the Pilot

Tuesday, December 3, 2002

Holiday blues


The holidays can be a time of great fun, but for some the parties, family gatherings, and our expectations for these events can be stressful. As rural communities and families change some events just don't provide the joy they once did. Are you still trying to hold on to the past?

Keep expectations for the holiday season manageable, both in terms of time and money. If we over commit, we can cause ourselves stress. If money is tight give gifts that cost little or nothing.

Consider giving a gift certificate for babysitting, work around the house, an auto trip to visit friends, a family item complete with a written history, a family history written by you, a batch of cookies, etc. Let your creativity flow.

Consider developing new holiday traditions. As things change in rural Iowa, or for your family think about which activities you enjoy most and which cause you stress. Are there ways to make changes?

Spend time with people who are supportive and care about you. Make new friends if you are alone during special times. you could establish new traditions with people you enjoy. What do you do for others? It is an old remedy for stress but it can help. Try volunteering some time to help others.

Don't drink too much. Excessive drinking will only make you more depressed. Find time for yourself. Don't spend all your time providing activities for your family or groups to which you belong. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you are feeling like the holiday blues are running your life, call the Seasons Mental Health Center at 732-3736 to talk with a counselor. Privacy and confidentiality are assured. Rural families can receive five sessions at no cost to you though a special appropriation grant. When calling for an appointment, tell them you want services of the Rural Mental Health Grant.

Rhonda Christensen,

Buena Vista County

Education Director