The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and togetherness, but if you have depression, that doesn’t always happen. Don’t feel alone if you’re sad or depressed during the holiday season. Depression can affect anyone at any time, and it’s completely normal to struggle with these emotions during this busy time of year. You can do many things to manage your depression during the holidays and make sure they remain happy.
Some People Who Have Depression Struggle to Enjoy the Holidays
Depression can make it hard to enjoy the holidays. If you have depression, you may feel sad or empty and not like yourself. Depression can make it hard to be with other people and enjoy special occasions such as Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Most people with depression find that they have problems with relationships during the holidays because they don’t want others to see how they’re feeling, which is often down and unhappy. Some people don’t even want their friends and family around them at all since they don’t feel like themselves anymore.
People who are depressed may also avoid doing things they love because of how bad their mood feels. This is especially the case if those activities bring back memories of happier times in their lives before these feelings started happening every day for months on end now.
You Are Not Alone if You Feel Sad or Depressed During the Holidays
It’s normal to feel sad or anxious during the holidays. Depression is a common problem and does not mean you are weak or crazy. There are many reasons why people become depressed, including family conflicts, financial stressors, the loss of a loved one, or even just feeling blue from being in a rut.
Although it may seem like there is no end to your sadness this time of year, depression is treatable, and there are many things you can do to help yourself feel better. You are not alone if you’re feeling down at this time of year either. Many people experience similar feelings during the holiday season, and it’s important that we all look out for one another.
Tips to Help Depression During the Holidays
Take time to relax. A few moments of quiet time can help you feel more peaceful and less overwhelmed. Try taking a bath or reading a book by candlelight, or close your eyes and breathe deeply for several minutes. You might also consider doing something you enjoy that doesn’t require much effort, like listening to music or catching up on your favorite TV show or podcast.
Talk with someone who understands what you’re going through and cares about you. This could be a family member, friend, or therapist. Talking about how you’re feeling may not make it go away completely but it should give some relief from the pain of depression during the holidays.
Think of What’s Realistic for Your Energy Level and Ability
The holidays are a time of year that often leaves us feeling drained. For those of us who have chronic illnesses, the additional demands on our energy and time can be overwhelming. We can feel isolated, sad, tired, and alone even when surrounded by friends and family.
We all want to do everything we normally do during the holidays, but this isn’t always possible because of illness or disability. If you’re too sick or tired to get out shopping or visit friends, then don’t force yourself to go out. It is not realistic for your condition. Instead, stay home where you will be safe.
Make Sure You Have a Safe Space
Make sure you have a safe, comfortable space where you can rest when you need to. Eat well and exercise regularly for your body and mind have enough energy to deal with the added stress of the busy holiday season. If you don’t have a safe place to rest, try to find one. A clean, quiet space that’s free from other people’s belongings is ideal.
Remember That You Don’t Need to Be Happy All of the Time
Depression isn’t something you can just turn off, and it’s not a choice or a character flaw. Even if you feel like your depression is unwarranted, it’s a medical condition that requires treatment. Just because you’re feeling down doesn’t mean that everything else in your life has to fall apart too. Many people who have depression experience the opposite of this effect. Their symptoms actually cause them to be more productive and organized than they would otherwise be.
It’s perfectly normal to feel sad sometimes — or even all the time —especially when major life events happen. It’s also normal for people with chronic depression to have periods where they’re less affected by their disorder. There are certain times of the year when we’re more likely to experience depressive episodes than others.
There are many reasons why you might experience depression during the holidays, but there’s no need to feel alone. With some planning and support, you can make it through even the holiday season with your mental health intact. Take care of yourself by eating well and getting enough exercise. Spend time with friends or family who make you feel good about yourself. Find ways to relax and rest when necessary. Try to remember that those feelings aren’t permanent; they will pass. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, especially during the holidays, call Acera Health. We want to help you learn to manage your depression during this time. Call (949) 647-4090 today.
Melody is a highly skilled proactive clinical administrator, with more than 17 years of experience serving the community in the behavioral health field.
Her clinical management career started in 2011 as a compliance manager and program director. In 2018, she became an executive as chief clinical officer (CCO). She is a seasoned licensed marriage & family therapist.