Depression during the holidays is a common experience for many people. While the holiday season is often associated with joy and celebration, it can also be a challenging time for those dealing with depression and anxiety. Several factors contribute to this, including:
Social Expectations: There is often societal pressure to be happy and festive during the holidays. This pressure can make individuals struggling with depression feel overwhelmed, isolated or inadequate.
Family Dynamics: For some, spending time with family during the holidays can be stressful or trigger negative memories and overwhelming emotions. Family gatherings may bring up unresolved issues or create a sense of loneliness.
Financial Strain: The holidays can be expensive, with the expectation of gift-giving and other expenses such as outfits, foods, outings, and celebrations, it can get pricy. Financial strain can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Some people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression that occurs at a specific time of year, usually in the winter months when there is less natural sunlight.
Reminders of Loss: The holidays may serve as reminders of loved ones who are no longer present in our lives because they passed away or we have lost contact with. This can intensify feelings of grief and sadness.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression during the holidays, here are some suggestions:
Seek Support: Reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional. Sharing your feelings with someone you trust can provide comfort and understanding. Also, provide an opportunity for receiving support and planning how to deal with some of the challenges.
Set Realistic Expectations: It's okay to acknowledge that the holidays might not be perfect. Set realistic expectations for yourself and focus on what you can manage. This is in terms of participation in different events, money you can spend, or time you have available.
Self-Care: Take time for self-care activities that you enjoy. This might include journaling, reading, taking a walk, practicing mindfulness, or engaging in hobbies. Coping ahead and taking some time to recharge can help you get though the holidays and feel effective in how you manage challenges.
Create New Traditions: If old traditions contribute to negative and overwhelming feelings, consider creating new ones that better suit your current situation and bring joy. You may consider more intimate celebrations or plans that make you feel better.
Professional Help: If your depression is severe or persistent, consider seeking professional help. Therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists can provide support and guidance. You are not alone and help is available!
Remember that it's crucial to prioritize your mental health and reach out for assistance when needed. If you are concerned about someone else, encourage them to seek help and offer your support.
At Home For Balance, we are aware of the challenges experienced by those struggling with depression. We have a team of therapists committed to supporting you and help you navigate the holidays. Some of our clinicians can provide services in different states and languages besides English including Spanish, Ukrainian, and Russian. Online sessions are also available. For more information, please contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 561.600.1424 for a FREE 30-minute consultation!