Managing Depression During the Holidays: What You Need to Know
The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time of year, but for many, the season is accompanied by feelings of sadness, stress and depression. Depression during the holidays is very common. But there is good news! There are many easy strategies to help you manage seasonal depression to keep your holidays merry and bright.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Most people will be affected by some form of depression over the course of their lifetime. Symptoms of depression include:
- A depressed mood.
- Feelings of sadness
- Changes in appetite.
- Shifts in weight.
- Loss of pleasure in things you used to enjoy.
- Loss of motivation.
- Feelings of fatigue and excessive tiredness.
Is depression more common during the holidays?
There is a lot of pressure to get everything done during the holiday season – many people also report feelings of depression during this busy time. Oftentimes, people will share that they don’t feel as happy as they think they should.
There are many factors that can contribute to stress, sadness and depression during the holidays:
- Financial obligations.
- Loss of loved one.
- Social isolation.
- Loss of routine and structure.
How can I manage depression during the holidays?
Although there are some factors about the holiday season that we can’t control, there are many ways we can reduce our stress and lower our risk for depressed feelings during the holidays.
- Keep to a routine as much as possible.
- Make sure that each day, you have something fun to look forward to on your calendar.
- Balance holiday activities with time to rest. It’s a good idea to get out and enjoy your family, friends and favorite holiday activities, but know that it’s also OK to say no to events or obligations that are too stressful.
- Shop smart by a list financial, creates huge stress.
- Preplan how you will manage things that have been difficult during past holidays. Whether it’s not overcommitting to too many gatherings or not sitting beside your uncle with differing views, planning ahead can help you avoid these additional stressors.