Tips to lose the holiday blues

Not everyone feels it is the most wonderful time of the year and, for some, the holidays cause more pain than pleasure.

One stress a lot of people feel is financial. The bills start to pile up when item after item is put onto the credit card. For those who do not have the means to purchase the gifts they would like to, they stress about the fact they cannot put those items onto the credit card.

Wood Financial Owner Steve Wood advises people all the time about how to handle their money and, according to him, financial stress is not uncommon right now.

"Number one- don't use credit cards," he said. "Don't use the debt, don't buy the stuff with money that you don't have. And, secondly, I would say but stuff that'll last."

Wood and his wife planned for Christmas all year and were prepared when Christmas began approaching.

"I also tell people to try to budget Christmas like you do any other thing," Wood said. "I have people come in all the time and say, 'Wow, Christmas is right around the corner and we don't have a dime put back for it. So, we're just going to use the credit card.' What typically happens then is the joy of Christmas becomes the fight after Christmas."

Finances are not all people stress about. With the holidays come memories- memories of loved ones lost and memories of how life used to be. For some, this brings negative feelings as opposed to positive ones.

Texas Tech Psychiatrist James Rush has recently had patients who are struggling with the holidays. Some of them become even more depressed every time Christmas comes around.

He recommends those suffering from stress and depression, whether they are on medication or not, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy diet and put themselves in the company of others. Volunteering to help the less fortunate, he says, is another way for someone to take their mind off their own troubles.

He also has patients who are depressed because of holiday finances.

"The thing for people to remember is a lot of people are struggling with the economy," he said, "and you shouldn't feel bad just because you're not able to give what you used to give or everything you want to give. Sometimes, it's just the heart that matters on that issue."

The Texas Tech Health Sciences Center will soon post other ways people can deal with stress and depression on its Facebook page.

Anyone feeling symptoms of extreme stress or depression is urged to go to a professional for a screening.