Do you have someone in your family who suffers depression, particularly at weekends or during vacations? Here are 5 ways to cope with holiday depression.
The issue of depression is a serious one. It seems that the holiday season can be more stressful than other times of the year for those suffering from even mild depression. And for many of us, that is easy to understand because the holidays have gone from being a simple celebration with family, to weeks and weeks of parties, gift-exchanges, concerts, and all manner of festivities. Each one of these, in itself, is enjoyable, but too many are exhausting.
If you suffer from depression, take the time to simplify the season in your own mind. Take stock of the things that really matter to you and protect yourself from trying to do more than is healthy. If the truth were known, everyone would probably benefit from stepping back from the holiday rush to examine the heart of the season. What, really, do you want to do and enjoy? It would be wise to trim the rest away. Here are five ways to help you cope and hopefully overcome holiday depression.
First of all be honest about the things that are stressful in your life. Have you lost a loved one or been through a divorce? Are there difficult family situations that the holidays bring to bear? Whatever the source of the feelings, it’s okay to look it right in the face.
Look at your calendar and your circumstances. Evaluate the things you want to include in your holiday celebrations and say no to the rest. Protect your hours of sleep and get plenty of exercise.
Stay on a budget so you don’t add overspending to other problems at this time of the year.
Do at least one thing for others. Give a gift to a good cause, volunteer in the community, or offer a kindness to someone else who has a hard time in this time of the year that is supposed to be filled with joy.
Be open to talking to friends or professionals when necessary. The holidays are stressful for everyone, don’t try to “go it alone.”
All of these suggestions are just general ways to ward off the depression bugs that try to invade the holidays. They are mostly common sense. In the case of serious mental health problems, see your physician. The links below offer more information on seasonal depression.