Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
How to ward off the holiday blues
‘Tis the season to be jolly. The holidays are not a jolly time of the year for everyone. There is often an expectation for this time of the year to be filled with happiness, love and high spirits. However, according to studies, somewhere around 10 to 30 million Americans struggle with symptoms of depression this time of year. Depression can come in the form of little interest or pleasure in activities, feeling sad, changes to appetite resulting in weight gain or loss, and social isolation. Here are a few tips to ward off the blues this holiday season:
Giving back to the community is one way to boost positive emotions. One local example is the Bike to the Future program, which donates bikes to individuals in our community who lack transportation. Here are some links for volunteering in the community:
-Bike to the Future: http://biketothefuturemo.org/
-Volunteer Programs: https://www.como.gov/volunteer/
Physical activity is a natural mood lifter. It can be as simple as taking a short walk around the neighborhood or marching in place while watching your favorite television show. Another option would be to partner up with others in the community. Check out Team Red, White & Blue for local opportunities. https://www.teamrwb.org/ or visit https://www.move.va.gov/ for additional videos and handouts on physical activity.
Spend time with other Veterans
Being around other Veterans is a reminder that “We’re in this together.” Find out what is going on at the VA medical center. Link to Truman VA Facebook page for up-to-date activities.
Visit the Green Team
Reach out to the experts. The Behavioral Health Service (Green Team) at Truman VA is a one-stop shop for all your mental health needs including consultation, evaluation and treatment. Call (573) 814-6486 to schedule an appointment. If you have never been seen by a provider in the Green Team before, feel free to bring up mental health concerns during a Primary Care visit. Primary Care has mental health providers located in the Primary Care clinics. Another option for getting help and support is the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 press 1 (or send a text to 838255 to receive confidential support 24/7).