While the holidays are marketed as being the most joyous time of the year, this isn’t always the case. For some people, the holidays are stressful, lonesome, or reminders of traumatic events and bad memories. Combined with a lack of sunshine and cold, dark days, the holidays can actually spark feelings of stress, anxiety, and even depression in some. If you are dealing with holiday depression, you’re not alone. Here are some tips for coping with depression during the holiday season—
One thing to think about during the holidays is what your triggers are. If you know that going to three holiday parties in a weekend is going to make you a nervous wreck and trigger a panic attack, don’t go! If you know that you can only handle about an hour of family time before losing it, maybe don’t invite the parents to stay for the whole weekend. It’s very important to know yourself and set your boundaries for the holidays in advance to minimize stressors.
While alcohol may be the prime drink during the holiday season, alcohol is a depressant that can exacerbate bad feelings, disrupt sleep, and trigger moodiness. While you may be tempted to drink, try to limit your alcohol consumption to improve your mental health.
Just like drinking too much alcohol can be bad for your brain, getting too little sleep can be very detrimental to your wellbeing. During the holidays, things can feel rushed and hectic—it’s very important that you take time to chill out and relax. If you’re having trouble sleeping, implementing a nighttime routine that is focused on relaxation and mindfulness can help.
Regardless of the time of year, eating healthy foods, minimizing processed foods and sugar, and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day can help you to feel your best. When you’re busy and rushed, it can be tempting to skimp on the exercise. And especially during the holidays with sugary food galore, it can be hard to eat healthily. Remember that exercising and avoiding sugary, processed foods will ultimately leave you feeling better.
Finally, if you’re dealing with depression during the holidays, don’t hesitate to get professional help. A therapist can be a great resource to help you develop coping tools and challenging thinking patterns.
At Life Insight, our therapists are here to help you when you need it most. To learn more about our services and how we can help, reach out to us today online or by phone.
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