Keeping Your Spirits Up: How to Combat Depression During the Holidays

Keeping Your Spirits Up: How to Combat Depression During the Holidays

The end of the year is meant to be a time of joy, but for many people, the holidays are a reminder of lost loved ones, unattainable expectations, family problems, and overwhelming stress. For these people, fighting the holiday blues may seem like a lost cause at the time. At a residential mental health program in Palm Beach, we understand this time of year can be gloomy, so we want to help you learn how to combat depression during the holiday.

How to Combat Seasonal Depression

The holiday season doesn’t have to be such a downer, and depression doesn’t have to get the best of you. Follow these tips to fight depression over the holidays so that you can actually enjoy the end of the year.

Manage Your Expectations

One of the biggest reasons people are combating depression during the holidays is because of unrealistic expectations. When you think you plan the perfect family outing and something goes wrong, it can leave you feeling sad, disappointed, and even hopeless. Avoid the let down by lowering your expectations and reminding yourself that some things you just can’t control.

Don’t Ignore Your Feelings

Knowing how to combat depression during the holidays is not the same as knowing how to push your feelings aside. It is okay to be sad sometimes. While you may try to push through the sadness, this could make you feel worse. If you are feeling depressed, take the time to recognize it and try to understand why you might be feeling that way. You may need to take some time alone before you are ready to rejoin the party or spend time with your family again.

Focus On What Will Make You Happy

If you find you feel your best when you are with your family, then try to spend more time doing activities with them. If you have no desire to participate in the annual cookie exchange this year, then don’t. It is okay to say no. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed, so instead of sticking to what you think are mandatory obligations that will only add to your depression, focus on what will make you happy this holiday season.

Find a Support System

It can be hard to know how to combat depression during the holidays on your own, but a good support system should be able to help. If you do not already have one, it is important to seek out a support system that you can lean on. This could be anyone from a trusted friend to a formal support group or therapist.

Avoid Drugs & Alcohol

Parties are common at the end of the year but turning to drugs or alcohol to cope with your holiday depression can actually make you feel worse in the long run. It may momentarily numb the pain but could lead to an addiction problem later on and everything that comes with it. If you do find yourself becoming dependent on these substances, look for co-occurring disorder treatment.

Get Help If It Does Not Go Away

While it is common that some people may feel more depressed during the holiday season, lingering depression could lead to clinical depression.1 If you notice your depression is not going away after the New Year or you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, do not wait to get professional help. Our behavioral health program in South Florida is designed to help patients combat these issues.

The holiday blues are real for many people, but they do not have to get the best of you.  By following our tips for fighting depression over the holidays, you just might find that this is your best holiday season yet.  If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health problems and/or addiction issues, we want to help. Call us today at 888-280-4763 to get started.

 

Sources:

  1. NAMI – Mental Health And The Holiday Blues

 

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