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Mental Health Taking on the Holidays

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During the holidays and winter, some students may have mixed emotions. Mental health can swing both ways during this time of the year. Depending on how each student feels during this season, they could be happy or extremely sad. Mental health is something you need to take seriously and always reach out if you need help.

Some people may wonder what causes seasonal depression. There are many possibilities for this, but there are also plenty of coping mechanisms.

“The time change significantly impacts people because it gets dark so early. When we get up and go to school, it is dark out, and when we leave school or activities, it is also dark. That can really impact our bodies and our sleeping habits. We know that sleep has a great influence on our mental health, and that is just one thing,” Dr. Maloney says.

Time change and darkness can affect us all, but more so the certain people who don’t react to it well. Make sure you’re doing all you can to prepare and take care of yourself properly while dealing with this alternation in our schedule.

“I think that kids’ mental health starts to decline in the wintertime because of not being able to be outside as much and less exposure to the sun. Less opportunities to go out and possibly hang out with friends and things like that,” Mr. Doyle says.

Having the sun out less and less can trigger a chemical imbalance in the brain that leads to depression. Your body’s melatonin produces more when the sun goes down so that can cause people to be less motivated.

“Another thing is the drop in temperature and not being able to go and do outside interests. The cold weather may inflict on those coping mechanisms that partake outside, so you have to find a different healthy way regardless of the weather. You may have to find a way to exercise indoors so you’re not outside in the cold,” Dr. Maloney says.

The cold weather makes most people want to stay inside and lay down, but you have to keep your daily schedule still going even when you don’t feel like doing so.

“Some people have traumas connected to the holidays, like their family or guardians’ can cause them stress or their situation at home. Around the holidays they are stuck at home with them and cannot get away from that situation. Some students may have it hard at home financially and have to come to school and listen to other kids talking about what they got, and that can be hurtful,” Dr. Maloney says.

There is a lot of stress on everyone’s shoulders around this time of the year that can exacerbate seasonal depression. With the holidays around the same time, it can ad

“I am big on coping skills and figuring out the difference between your healthy and unhealthy coping skills so you can keep developing those healthy coping skills. Coping skills are something you use for the rest of your life so it is worth paying attention to. Not being afraid to talk to people if you are struggling at this point, and reaching out to somebody, asking for help and allowing them to help you,” Dr. Maloney says.

Dr. Maloney gives some great advice about coping skills and how to turn your mood back around. You are never alone and always remember that there are people you can talk to while dealing with these types of situations. You are never truly alone and you don’t have to feel embarrassed to talk to someone about your mental health. Your counselors are always here to listen!

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About the Contributor
JoceLynn McFarland
JoceLynn McFarland, Staff Writer
  • Journalism I
  • Sophomore
  • I read and avidly listen to Taylor Swift
  • "Long story short, I survived."
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