Pandemic adds extra layers to holiday blues

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 10:15 AM EST
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - With the usual holiday cheer, this year the pandemic is bringing more cases of the holiday blues.

The holiday blues are common for some during this time of year, but after speaking with a psychotherapist, she says the pandemic is adding additional factors.

Usually, the colors green and red represent the holidays, but this year, West Virginia is seeing mostly red and orange with the COVID-19 map.

That means the surge isn’t slowing down which is resulting in an increase in the holiday blues.

“Typically the holidays are viewed as a time of happiness and of great joy, but it’s also a time of reflection and that time of reflection can bring about sadness,” said Psychotherapist at Progressive Preventative Health Leigh Larosa.

64% of people with mental illness report holidays make their conditions worse and now adding in the pandemic, it adds additional factors since most health and state officials are recommending everyone to refrain from gathering in large groups or traveling.

“We would anticipate that if people do the same thing around the Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah holidays as they did around Thanksgiving, that things will actually be worse coming up because we’re already more full in our hospitals and we already have more cases of Covid on a daily basis,” said Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences at West Virginia University Dr. Clay Marsh.

“That on top of just the regular holiday blues--this year it’s much more surmountable with people loosing their businesses and their homes and loved ones most importantly,” Larosa said.

But Larosa says there are ways to cope with the holiday blues this year through video chat or doing some of your favorite holiday activities in a safe manner.

“If you are alone, just know you’re not alone. This year there are many people experiencing the same feelings,” continued Larosa.

Although the holiday blues are considered short-term, health officials say if it seems to continue or worsen, make sure you speak with a doctor about your conditions.

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