For most people, the holidays mean spending time with family. That’s ideal if the family gets along well. But for those who do not have the best relationships with their family, this can be a stressful time of year. Additionally, if people are experiencing loss, illness, injury or ovewhelm, the holidays may be especially difficult. It can be tough to avoid depression during the holidays, but with intentional effort, it is possible. Today, I’m sharing some tips to help you protect your peace during the holidays.
In a perfect world, the holidays are a joyous occasion, but that is not always the case. Some people experience distress that leads to severe depression and frustration. There are steps that you can take to avoid depression during the holidays.
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Why do people get depressed during the holidays?
There are several factors that can lead to depression during the holiday season:
- Financial pressures
- Family dynamics
- Planning festivities
- Stress of gift giving
- Lack of time to do all the things
These things and so many more can take a toll on your mental health. In fact, the holidays can magnify the effects of these things. It is so important to recognize the impact the holidays can have on your overall well-being and be intentional about managing your symptoms when they present themselves.
Here are some tips to help you avoid depression during the holidays:
Be open about your situation
Be open and honest about how you feel. It is not okay to suffer in silence. Do not try to minimize your feelings, even if you think it will ruin the mood. Find someone you can trust and express your feelings openly. It might even be a good idea to talk to a professional. The key is to get the support you need to deal with your feelings so you can avoid severe depression during the holidays.
Exercise and get plenty of rest
During the holidays, we tend to neglect our self-care to take care of all of the other things we have to do. We stay up later trying to finish our to-do lists and we either skip meals or opt for unhealthy snacks and comfort food. Lack of sleep, little to no exercise, and a poor diet can all contribute to depression. Be intentional about practicing self-care during the holidays. Remember to take your vitamins, eat well, and stay hydrated so you can be as healthy as possible.
Try something new
If you are someone who has done the same things over and over for the holidays for several years, it might be time to shake things up a bit. This might be a good time to cancel your traditional holiday plans and do something new. Travel to a new place and spend time with different people if your regular holiday routine no longer brings you joy.
Other ways to avoid depression during the holidays
- Find positive ways to remember loved ones that are no longer with you.
- Stick to a budget.
- Learn to say no.
- Volunteer in your community.
- Don’t worry about things you cannot control.
Journaling is one of my favorite self-care activities. It is another way to avoid depression during the holidays.
Best Journals for Self-Care
Journaling is one of my favorite self-care activities. It’s also a great way help you begin to move towards forgiveness. The key to making journaling a habit is to find a journal that you love. One of the first things I look for in a journal is one that is good quality, like this gratitude journal from Therabox.
I also love this guided self love journal that is filled with prompts and practices to help improve self-esteem and self-confidence.