Beating the holiday blues
Spend more time with your children

Karen Lander
Northern News Services

NNSL (Dec 18/98) - Greg Krivda, a youth worker at the Tree of Peace, has a few suggestions to help ease the holiday blues. Krivda suggests that people spend more time with their children.

"Parents need to get more involved with their children and do activities with them. Here in the North, a lot of the parents aren't involved with their kids, it's important to come together as a family unit and share this happy occasion," says Krivda.

"When youth get depressed, they often turn to alcohol, drugs or other substance abuse," says Krivda.

Marilyn Harry, an alcohol and drug counsellor, agrees and says, "The key is not to isolate yourself."

"There's a lot of things to do, get in touch with elders, attend church services, go to a 12-step group and offer support," states Harry.

"Every Friday night there's a talent show at the Salvation Army," she says adding another option is to get involved with volunteering, as "People are always needing help and it's appreciated."

"Find people in recovery. It takes you to make the first honest step to make changes in your life. Admitting that there is a problem and doing something about it is the first step to a new beginning." Harry says.

"You're not alone, there's all kinds of resources out there, it's a matter of making the right choices. There are a lot of people willing to help."

Capt. Al Hoeft and Lieut. Shellie Kirchman of the Salvation Army also have a few pointers on beating the downside of the holidays.

"The biggest step is getting involved and interacting with other people because it's part of something that is bigger than just you," says Hoeft. "Being with friends and family. The whole idea is understanding 'community,' when people connect with other people," Hoeft says, adding, "There's a lot of volunteer work available, you could deliver hampers, peel potatoes, wash dishes, etc."

Christine Kuliktana, an alcohol and drug counsellor in Kugluktuk has a few good suggestions as well. "If it makes you feel good, try doing it more often," Kuliktana says.

Some other ways of beating the holiday blues is help someone, "Cook or clean for your elders, and spend time with someone special," Kuliktana says.