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Ironically, the holiday blues are a study topic for Dr. Paul Hard's Auburn University Montgomery students.
But Hard says the topic is all too real for some folks this season.
"Losing a loved one at the holidays is especially stressful," says Dr. Hard.
Hard says people who recently lost a loved one tend to feel that loss more as the seasons change and especially when the holidays arrive. But he admits small decisions make a difference.
"You have those special ornaments that may have been given between you and a loved one that have special significance. You may not want to put those on the tree. It's saving those for a time when you can cherish them and the hurt's not so raw."
While many people deal with depression, many more are most likely dealing with stress of what may be expected of them--from parties to their pocketbook.
"Give yourself permission to take a step back. We're not helping ourselves when we spend out past what we're capable of," adds Hard.
As tough economic times continue to linger, Hard suggests Christmas presents that require less cash--like handmade gifts.
"You can take some financial stress off and create a heritage at a time like this that is gonna have a legacy for you and your family that's going to go beyond something that's gonna need batteries."
Dr. Hard also says be choosy with what appointments you commit to---like parties for instance.
He says choose what you want to do and not what you feel expected to do.
He also says carve out time to spend with your kids in the kitchen. Simply baking Gingerbread cookies together can bring the nostalgia back to the holidays.