The holidays are almost here and for most people that means it’s a time of family, good friends and good feelings. While the holidays mean general good feelings for most people, there are many people for whom the holidays only offer a reason to fall deeper into depression. Now that the holidays are near, here are some practical tips to help minimize those feeling of depression.
If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
Sometimes feelings of depression can come about because of the loss of a loved one. These feelings can be especially strong during the holidays. Acknowledge that this holiday season won’t be the same. Use the opportunity to create new traditions aimed at keeping your loved one’s memory alive. Seek out supportive people who understand what you’re going through and spend time with them.
It’s important to be realistic during the holiday season. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
Sometimes holiday depression is added to by the pressure and extra stress brought on by the all the holiday related activities. It’s ok to say no sometimes. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.
Depression can lead to more serious mental health issues and sometimes the holiday season can add to these feelings. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.