Is it the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

The following article was written and shared by Erin (Lizzie) Kriewald, MS, LPC, CSAC, a counselor with Peaceful Solutions.  NTC is pleased to provide counseling services through Peaceful Solutions for current students.  For more information, please visit their web page


With the weather turning colder and the holidays approaching, many people bustle around with excitement and happiness.  For others however, this time of the year can be especially difficult and seems to last forever.  Instead of being a time of year they look forward to, terms like the winter blues, cabin fever, and temporary insanity fill their heads.  What follows is an explanation as to why this phenomenon can happen, and what you can do if you find yourself feeling this way.

Let’s Start Here:  Why Does Depression Happen During the Holidays

  • Loneliness/Social Isolation:  Social Isolation can be a predictor for depression during the holidays.  People who don’t feel connected tend to withdraw more, making their symptoms worse.  In addition to this many compare themselves to others, or other families, again leading to an increase in depression.
  • Unrealistic Expectations:  Oftentimes people have a perfect picture of what holidays contain, but this often falls short of reality.  We may look at friends, television shows, or movies and desire these same dynamics and feelings.
  • Taking On Too Much:  During the holidays people can take on too much, including work, family obligations, holiday planning, the list is endless. 
  • Ignoring Self Care:  With the focus often being on others, people tend to neglect their own well-being during the holidays, which can profoundly impact how a person feels.  It is easy during the holidays to overeat, neglect exercise, or increase the use of alcohol.  Sleep may also go by the wayside as schedules tend to be overbooked.

So What Can I Do To Prevent Depression During the Holidays?

  • Make Plans for the Future:  If we can plan for our shortcomings, we can do our best to prevent them.  For example if healthy eating and/or portioning tends to take a backseat during the holidays, focus on not binging on holiday food/meals, or make a meal plan that includes healthy options.  Make exercise or sleep a priority by setting time aside each day for a workout, or mandating a bedtime for yourself.  Self-care is crucial in combating depression!
  • Distance from Conflict:  Set boundaries with others if need be . . . even family.  It is okay to cut things out if you need more time for priorities or yourself.  Even just leaving a room for a few minutes can help.
  • Address Grief Issues:  If you have lost a loved one, holidays can pose to be especially difficult, so planning and being sensitive to how this can impact you is important.  Try talking about your loss with a trusted person, or make that person’s memory part of your holiday tradition.
  • Count Your Gratitude’s:  Take a look around . . . there is so much to be thankful for when we search.  Stop comparing yourself to others and see what you have.  Make lists that you can post, and focus on what’s important.
  • Get Help:  Sometimes friends and family are not enough to help us get through these stressors.  Do not hesitate to reach out for professional help if you continue to find yourself struggling.   

Free Food for NTC Students

timberwolf_table_logo THE ONEThank you to everyone who has visited Timberwolf Table and shared the news of this new service benefiting NTC students!

Timberwolf Table is located on the 4th floor of the Center for Health Sciences and is open to any current NTC student in need.  Hours are:

  • Mondays 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Tuesdays 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Fridays 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Timberwolf Table WILL be open during Winter Break, except for the dates the college is closed.

Students will be able to visit Timberwolf Table once a week and self-select a number of items from several categories including breakfast, fruits and vegetables, protein, pasta and soup, and miscellaneous.  The intent is to provide food for a day, although many food items (such as jars of peanut butter and boxes of cereal) will last much longer than a day.

If you are in need, please stop by.  If you know someone who is in need, please share this information.

Thank you for your support!

Food Pantry November 6

United Way Volunteer Opportunities

Opportunities for the Week of December 18, 2017United Way

Promote Monk Botanical Gardens!  Use your marketing skills and grow the community’s interest in horticulture and the enduring relationship between plants and people, as a Volunteer Marketing Assistant. Contact Darcie at 715-261-6309 or

Restaurant Fundraiser Organizer. JoJo's Jungle is seeking a volunteer to coordinate several area restaurants in donating a percentage of their food sales on a date they choose. Help make the goal of building an all-inclusive playground in our community become a reality! Contact Patrick at 715-571-001 or

Help Seniors Get Their Move On.   Forest Park Village is seeking people to join seniors for exercise, at their independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities.  Bring your ideas so they don’t have to use DVD’s anymore! Contact Frances at 715-845-1214 x. 322 or 715-253-2125 x. 212 or

Vision /Hearing Screening Volunteers. Assist screeners with elementary school students as they have vision and hearing assessed. No medical knowledge needed. Training will occur the day you come. Maine: 2/5, Hawthorn Hills:  3/20, 3/21 and 4/11, Lincoln: 4/4, 4/5 and 4/17. Contact Roxane at 715- 261-0584 or

Like Electronics? Assist with Good News Project’s e-cycling program Fridays anytime between 9-5 (even 1 hour commitments are helpful). Help sort scrap, lift heavy items and wrap pallets of electronics. Contact Bettina at 715-843-5985 or

In-Kind Donated Items Needed

Keep Hands and Feet Warm! The Wausau Community Warming Center is looking to receive donations of foot and hand warmers to distribute to guests during the cold winter days. New winter hats and gloves are also accepted. Contact Tracy at 608-519-8069 or 

B-I-N-G-O Treats. North Central Health Care is in need of small bingo prizes & non-perishable purchased treats such as fruit snacks and candy. Contact Kathy at 715-848-4450 or

Do Something Artsy!  Winter and the holiday school break is a great time for kids in the community to try some of their artistic skills at the Boys and Girls Club. If you have gently used or new arts and crafts, materials to donate contact Mao at 715-845-2582 or 


Volunteer Connection and RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program) are services that United Way uses to match volunteers or in-kind donated items with agencies in need. Visit or dial United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline for more information.