The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

A Pro Who Knows-Michael Eason

Michael Eason, a licensed professional counselor on SE Campus
Michael Eason, a licensed professional counselor on SE Campus
Michael Eason, a licensed professional counselor on SE Campus
Michael Eason, a licensed professional counselor on SE Campus

MICHAEL EASON, a licensed professional counselor on SE Campus, shares his professional advice on the realities of holiday blues and ways to avoid it.

Q. Are the holiday blues simply old-wives tales, or do people really tend to get depressed around the holidays?
Unfortunately, the holiday blues are not a myth but a reality for many individuals, including college students.

Q. What are some of the reasons for this?
Some of the causes for this temporary time of depression are what I refer to as the “7 F’s.”

Friends and Family are wonderful to be around during the holidays and bring joy, warmth, good times, and great memories, but they can also be a tremendous source of stress, irritation, and anxiety, which then lead to feelings of depression.

Invitations and expectations run high at this time of year, and there is not enough time or energy to meet them all without disappointing someone. Plus, there are some relatives and “friends” whom you just don’t want to be around, and your mouth hurts from the constant plastic smiles you have to wear.

Final exams are a huge source of stress for college students. In addition to the daily stress already experienced from work, school, relationships, holidays, etc., adding final exams to the mix can be overwhelming for some people.

Finances factor into feelings of depression because we want to spend more than we can afford, and often do. Knowing that the cards are maxed out and the bills are coming in January will keep you awake all night.

Food tastes great during the holidays, and the more the better! Sadly, we eat too much sugar and fat, and our bodies react to that overload of unhealthy indulgence.

Fun should characterize this time of year, but too much fun and not enough sleep will make you stressed and irritable.

Fading sunlight plays a part as the days are shorter, the nights are longer, and the cold wind blows from the north. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) affects many people because of the reduced exposure to sunlight.

Q. What can we do to ward off the holiday blues?
Be strong enough to set good boundaries and say “No” to some expectations and invitations. Good boundaries make for good relationships.

Make final exams a priority. Don’t throw out all of the hard work that you have invested during the entire semester.

Set realistic limits on your spending. Remember, you can’t buy true love or genuine friendship. If you have to buy gifts for all of your relatives and close friends, someone is getting socks for Christmas.

Practice moderation in your eating and drinking. Those desserts taste great, but you don’t want them on your hips for the next three months.

Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

Talk with someone. Each TCC campus has trained professional counselors who want to talk with you. You are not intruding or wasting our time. The welcome mat is always out for you. You are the reason we are here each day.

Be thankful. As the plaque says, “Write your hurts in the sand. Carve your blessings in stone.” We have much to be grateful for.

And last, but not least, always stand under the mistletoe at parties. You just might receive a nice, free holiday gift!

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