It’s supposed to be a merry time of year, but many people are already feeling the start of festive season blues…

December is a time of family, fun and festivities, but for some the season’s countdown comes with looming dread.

Many people experience anxiety, depression and loneliness over the festive season. Family conflict or relationship problems can also make this time of year particularly difficult. There are also many people who are battling to provide for their families, let alone celebrate Christmas.

To make matters worse, many people try to hide these problems. It means that friends and family may not understand why they want to avoid certain things or situations (like social events or expensive outings), and this can create conflict.

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Join a free chat about festive season blues

To help people cope with their worries this festive season, SADAG is hosting a FREE online Facebook chat on Friday, 13 December, with experts discussing ‘Coping Tips for the Festive Season Blues’.

“The festive season can be a very lonely and difficult time for many and that is why we are here to answer all your questions to make the holiday season easier to cope with,” says psychiatrist, Dr Kalpesh Narsi.

Psychologist Viwe Dweba will be able to chat in the afternoon from 1pm – 2pm and Dr Narsi will be facilitating the evening chat session from 7pm – 8pm. They will be sharing advice on how to stick to your medication and what to do if you find yourself struggling over the festive season.

To join the chats, LIKE SADAG’s Facebook Page: The South African Depression and Anxiety Group. If you  would like to remain anonymous, email to [email protected] for questions to be asked on your behalf.

8 Tips for dealing with festive season blues

  • Lean on your support system of friends and family.
  • Ask for help and be specific.
  • Don’t stay at an event longer than you want.
  • Take the pressure off yourself to find the perfect gifts – it should be the thought that counts anyway.
  • Draw up a budget before you go Christmas shopping.
  • Maintain a regular routine as much as possible so you don’t skip workouts or skimp on sleep.
  • Don’t turn to substances. Remember, alcohol is a depressant and abusing it will only make you feel worse.
  • If you are on medication for depression, don’t miss dosages.

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Get help

SADAG is able to provide telephone support, counselling and referrals through our Cipla Mental Health Helpline (24hrs) 0800 456 789 or Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Helpline (24hrs) 0800 12 13 14. For more information, visit 

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.