The holidays can be one of the toughest times of the year for those struggling with depression. With our busy holiday schedules and increased stress from family situations, not to mention everyday life, the depression can sneak up on us and before you know it, the depression has taken over.
Our unrealistic expectations for the holidays and the financial demands that we face during the holidays don’t help either. For those who suffer from seasonal depression, winter may be one of the biggest triggers that are often overlooked.
When it comes to managing your depression through the holidays, there are a few tips that can help you cope with the depression.
How To Help with Holiday Depression and Anxiety
Depression is serious and one of the most important things that you can do is to seek help from a mental health provider. Since you may not be able to always see or have access to a mental health professional during the holidays, these are a few tips that can help you cope with your depression through the holidays.
Don’t Go it Alone.
Spend time with those who bring your spirits up, make you laugh, and those you are close with during the holidays. Having a supportive group of people around you that truly care during the holidays can make a huge difference and help ease the symptoms of depression. If you don’t have a good support system, seek one out by attending a support group or reaching out to those in the community.
Get Out and Be Social.
You don’t want to isolate yourself during the holidays, it’s one of the worst things you can do. Spending time and going out with friends and family can help ease your depression. You can also get out into the community to attend holiday events, gatherings, or religious events. Getting out of the house can help lift your spirits and being social can have a positive impact on your mental mood.
Avoid the Alcohol.
Drinking too much can increase the feelings of depression and as tempting as it may be, drinking when you are already feeling sad or anxious, will only harm you and make those feelings worse. If alcohol is a temptation for you and you know the holiday events and gatherings you are going to attend will have drinks, prepare ahead of time. Remind yourself that you have to take it easy when it comes to alcohol. You can even bring your own drink so that the alcohol isn’t your only option.
Don’t Overextend Yourself on the Commitments.
You can’t be at multiple places at once, you are only one person. When it comes to the holiday schedule, don’t overextend yourself. Be realistic when it comes to your schedule and commitments so that you are not stressing about the schedule.
Make Time for Yourself.
There’s no shame in having to avoid some of the holiday craziness so that you can make time for yourself. A little R&R or taking part in something you are excited about during the holidays can be extremely helpful for everyone.
Ask for Help.
Don’t expect that you can get everything done on your own. If you have a busy schedule that is getting out of hand, ask for help from friends and family to see if they would be able to do some of the tasks for you. Overwhelming yourself and running yourself ragged can increase your stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression.
Exercising regularly during the holidays can go a long way when it comes to helping with those feelings of depression. Exercise can help relieve the symptoms of depression so no matter what, make sure that you take some time each day to get in some exercise. If you need to head out to do some shopping, try going to a local mall so that you can take a few extra steps while you are preparing for the holidays. You can also set aside a certain amount of time each day to go for a walk, take a workout class, or work out at home.
Don’t overdo it on the snacks and unhealthy foods. It is ok to indulge a little bit but try to keep your diet healthy so that you feel better. Fatty foods and foods that weigh us down will only make us feel worse, so stick to healthy foods as much as you can.
Stick to a Budget.
Financial stress both before and after the holidays can be a huge cause of depression. As the holidays approach, look at your finances and decide how much money you can spend on gifts. Keep your spending within your limits so that you don’t have that added financial stress hanging out around.
The holidays can be hard and when you are trying to manage your depression. Hopefully, these tips can help but if you suffer from depression or tend to get sad and anxious a lot, it is important that you seek professional help.