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Professionals share ways to boost your mental health during the holidays

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(WVVA)- As the days grow dimmer and leaves begin to lose their color, you may begin to feel less motivated to do every day activities.

It's a sign of seasonal affective disorder, or SAD for short.

It's defined by the Mayo Clinic as a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons.

Professionals said this may be extended far beyond the winter season.

"There are a lot of people who for the first time will be away from relatives or have a very different experience for Christmas that may trigger some feelings of depression, maybe even anxiety," said owner of Dumas Psychology Collective, Dr. Kristi Dumas.

The list of symptoms don't stop there and aren't all apparent to those who may be suffering from them.

"So, we're encouraging people to reach out. If you know that you need help, if you're starting to notice differences in your level of functioning, reach out get some help," Dumas said.

She and others offer services that could be beneficial to you to if you find yourself slipping into a dark mind space, such as Brain Training.

"It is really an absolutely natural way to train the brain to operate most optimally and to decrease illness and struggling,"Dumas said.

"We help them develop coping mechanisms. It might be journaling or some type of hobby to help with depression," said program director of the New River Parents as Teachers Program, Brenda McClung.

As you go into the holiday season experts suggest being self-aware, noticing the differences in your mental health and reaching out to a professional may be a big help.

For more information on Dr. Dumas' services you can click here.

For more information on the Parents as Teachers Program, you can click here.

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