We’re here to share what you can do to acknowledge and overcome feelings of depression.
If you feel “holiday blues,” you are not alone. But depression support over this season can help. Here’s what you can do to handle and overcome those feelings.
If you feel “holiday blues” this time of year, you are not alone. The holidays create as much stress as they do joy, and for plenty, the stress completely overwhelms. Depression support during this time of the year can help.
Holiday Depression Support
Accept that you’re feeling blue.
Remember, your feelings make you human.
And know that holiday cheer does not swiftly and surely take away the hurt we’re feeling before the holiday season comes around. There isn’t a magic holiday wand that can say “blue feelings be gone!” and wipe them all away.
If you’re feeling something, allow yourself to feel it. That’s the only way you’ll learn if the feeling will pass or linger.
Lean on your closest shoulders.
Don’t isolate. Who is always ready and willing to listen? Who can drop by to be with you, or to help you get those decorations up? Who will go along with you to hear that holiday concert? You don’t need to do this alone. Whether it’s an ear, some company, or a helpmate you’re after – ask for it. And, hopefully, you shall receive the depression support you seek.
Drop the pressure that the holidays are supposed to be perfect.
Stop trying to place your life in a perfect holiday package, complete with a satin bow. Your life isn’t a holiday movie – relax those sky-high expectations.
As an adult, the holiday season will ring differently than it did as a child. That’s okay. Let go of the childhood dream you’re playing over and over in your head, and find the joys in the holiday experience that only age can bring – like making magic for the children of today. Your family and friends are experiencing (or have experienced) this change, too, so don’t forget that.
Remember what the season is really about. Especially if you’re hosting, think about all the pressure you’re putting on yourself to create an experience that your family doesn’t even need or want. Make a list of the simple joys. Make a list of all that you have that you’re grateful for, and let those things be enough.
Set a budget that works for you.
Between gifts, parties, and travel – what can you afford, and, more importantly, what do you want to spend?
If you’re tight on cash, or not into buying presents, think of what else you could gift family and friends. Would a heartfelt card do? An original song? Your family-famous cookies?
Especially if you’re traveling far to be with family for the holiday, go easy on yourself when you don’t have funds and more funds leftover to buy the world for them. Let your presence be their present.
If your family won’t get into the presence as a present thing, see if they’ll agree to a gift exchange. That way everyone is only responsible for finding and buying one gift.
Less on presents, and more on presence means more money can go to a tastier holiday feast.
You don’t have to do everything or accomplish everything at once.
You don’t have to attend every holiday event you’re invited to. Which one do you most want to go to? Go to that one, and skip all the rest.
As for any shopping or making, get something done today, then reward yourself. Get another thing done tomorrow, then reward yourself. And, so on…
Don’t fall off the health horse you rode in on.
Get enough sleep, and regularly. See if you can go to sleep and wake up about the same time each day.
Eat balanced meals. If you’ll be going to a party with lots of desserts later, don’t let that substitute for dinner. Have your dinner, and leave room for a treat.
You’ll enjoy the treat more if you’re not overeating it, and spiking your sugar levels, because you’ve “been so busy in holiday go mode that you haven’t eaten anything all day.” You’ll feel healthier and less guilty later – win, win.
Hydrate often, especially if you’ll be imbibing. Enjoy the bubbly, but responsibly. If you binge on alcohol you’ll only feel worse once the initial buzz wears off. Alcohol is a depressant.
And don’t fill your holiday calendar so full that you leave no room for regular exercise. That’s the surest way to dampen your mood and leave you stirring in your bed at night. So pick your exercise poison and get to it at least three or four times per week.
Don’t take the bait.
There’s a better time and place for hashing out tired disagreements and resentments. So to the family member who just went there, politely suggest that you talk about whatever it is another time, and move on.
Will there be kids at this family gathering? Go hang with them for awhile. It’s sure to be entertaining. They’ll probably give you a good laugh.
Find some alone time.
If you’re headed to a packed family gathering for the holiday, where can you go and retreat for an hour or two? Is there somewhere you can curl up with a book, or to take a nap? Maybe get outside for a walk or run. Is there a dog you could offer to walk? Fresh air almost always helps, especially after a meal.
In the darkness of high winter, our down feelings can come from (or be compounded by) a lack of natural light, so get out during the bit of daylight you’ve got.
Even 15 minutes alone in the bathroom can make all the difference. It can be a chance to breathe deeply and remind yourself of what you can do to make this holiday less of a burden. Maybe give a quick call to a friend and let them help you find your sanity again.
Helping someone in need can put a smile back on your face and a spring back in your step. So look outside yourself and your family if you can.
Seek professional depression support if you need it.
Even giving your best effort, you might be left feeling hopeless. If you can’t seem to shake these blue feelings on your own (even surrounded by sympathetic family and friends), talk to your doctor or mental health professional about getting their help.
You can do this. We can help.
With depression support, you’ll manage this holiday season, and make meaningful personal growth while you do.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for that depression support, for yourself or a loved one. Our therapists and staff members at Prescott House can help you and/or your loved one get back on track.
We understand what you’re going through and we want to help.