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Holiday Depression - Behavioral Health

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year to spend with family and friends—but for those who have recently lost a loved one, this can be a difficult time of the year. “Holidays and anniversaries can be somber reminders of what’s not here anymore and who’s not here anymore,” said Jayme Hodges, director behavioral health at Lee Health. It’s normal for people to feel emotional this time of year. “It’s normal to not feel comfortable in situations, it’s normal to be upset, it’s normal to be sad,” she said. While it’s important not to isolate yourself, it’s also important to have some alone time. “Know your limits. It’s ok to walk away. It’s ok to spend time alone. But it’s also important to get out there and try to spend time with other people,” said Hodges. To help make the holidays a little more enjoyable, find ways to honor your loved one. Light a candle, do an activity in their memory or start a new tradition for them. “Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and if that’s being with others because it distracts you from those thoughts, then do that. If it’s spending time alone reflecting, do that,” she said. If you have concerns for a loved one this holiday season, talk to them about what they feel comfortable doing. “Empathy, it goes a long way. I think it’s important not to push someone to do something that they are not comfortable doing. But it’s also important to be able to have that open conversation with them about what they might be struggling within that moment,” said Hodges. Being aware that the holidays can be difficult for people can help you better plan holiday festivities and support those in their time of need. View More Health Matters video segments at Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit