With all the typical festive activities coming thick and fast, you should know how to avoid the holiday blues. There are many reasons why the holiday season can trigger depression. For one, you may be in a challenging financial situation. You may also be experiencing difficulties in your personal life.
In addition to these, the year has been challenging for almost everyone. Hence, with the coming of the holiday season, it may be tough to handle these feelings along with the glamour of multiple celebrations.
Holiday blues is an all too common occurrence. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are alone in your feelings. Here at Addiction Rehab, we care about your mental health. This is why we have created this highly engaging guide.
In this article, you will learn more about holiday blues and the things that can trigger it. You will also learn the steps to take to avoid depression during the holidays. So, take a deep breath and relax. It’s time to come up with a game plan for the holiday season.
What Causes Holiday Blues?
The first step to learning how to avoid the holiday blues is getting proper information about the causative factors. With this knowledge, you can take adequate measures to prevent yourself from falling into depression. The usual sources of depression in the holiday season include:
- Financial troubles
- Estrangement from your family or loved ones.
- Inability to be with your friends and loved ones
- Unrealistic expectations
- Stress and fatigue
During the holiday season, many people struggle to balance all the numerous activities they may have to partake in. There may be too many guests to attend to every day, too many parties, or too many obligations to meet.
These can lead you to feel overwhelmed. Even if you have never had a need for depression treatment, you may experience symptoms like:
- Excessive drinking
- Feeling more tired than before
- Loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed
- Inability to concentrate
You may also experience post-holiday sadness. This usually occurs after the New Year. It results from built-up expectations you could not realize or disappointments you had in the previous year. Added to those feelings is the stress and fatigue that comes with the holiday season.
The human mind can only take so much pressure. Trying to manage all of these feelings can culminate in a spiral down the dark hallway that is depressive thoughts.
You now know the factors that can lead to depression symptoms in the holiday season. How then can you manage Christmas depression and post-holiday sadness?
Tips for Preventing Depression During the Holiday
There are many contributing factors to holiday stress. Therefore, there’s a need to take measures to prevent these depression triggers from taking over your mind, health, and total wellbeing during the yuletide season and afterward.
Here are some of the steps you can take to prevent the holiday blues.
Prepare Yourself Ahead of Time
For you to enjoy the holidays without stressing yourself, you need to have a plan for the season. While preparing, ensure you also practice healthy routines. These can include reading books, taking a nap, taking walks, etc. Make sure you don’t become too preoccupied with your preparation that your routines take a backseat.
These routines can help you get through the holidays and all the activities that come with it. Hence, you need to find one that works for you and keep to it. If you do that, you reduce the possibility of falling into depression during the holidays.
Don’t Give Room for Family Conflicts
One of the ways to beat the holiday blues is staying away from family conflicts as much as possible. During the holidays, family members may come to visit.
Chances are you may have issues with one of the visiting family members. This can lead to heated moments between you and the person, causing arguments and conflicts.
These conflicts can be a mood damper. In the worst-case scenario, you may end up needing depression treatment in Toronto. However, you can prevent this situation by taking steps to avoid these conflicts.
For instance, you can prepare neutral responses to trigger questions. If there is a heated or tepid exchange, another option is to excuse yourself from the gathering for a breath of fresh air. Even if you do get into a fight, take steps to make up with the person as soon as possible.
Don’t Mourn a Loved One Alone
The holidays can be challenging for you if you are grieving the loss of a loved one. You may feel it is better to be alone at this time, but it is always better to spend time with your family and friends.
When they are around you, they will give you the support and love you need. This support system is vital to keeping the symptoms of depression at bay.
Engage in Activities after a Recent Break-up
If you recently experienced a break-up, you may be wondering how to avoid the holiday blues. Well, one way of doing that is by filling your calendar up with multiple activities.
It is not wise to cry indoors during the holidays. You need to do the exact opposite. Go for outings, make new friends, and network with others.
This is easier said than done, especially after a breakup. However, staying alone and ruminating over a lost relationship will bring you nothing but stress and possibly lead to depression. Hence, you need to go out and have some fun this Christmas and New Year season.
Don’t Indulge Yourself in Drinking Too Much Alcohol
You must limit your consumption of alcohol during the holidays. The odds are high that you will have more access to alcohol during the holidays. However, the excess amount of liquor available this season shouldn’t be an excuse to engage in excessive drinking. Take one or two drinks and stop at that.
Excessive drinking may affect your mood and magnify your negative feelings. When this happens, you become prone to holiday depression and stress.
During the holiday season, the hustle and bustle of getting things in place for parties, events and mini shindigs are somewhat inevitable. However, even if you are in the heat of activities, find time to sleep. If you don’t sleep, you will begin to experience headaches, pains, and stress-related symptoms.
Adequate sleep is one sure way to cope with holiday depression. Sleep relieves you of stress and provides you with more energy to enjoy the special moments that come with the season.
Also, it boosts your immune system. You don’t want to be nursing a sickness when everyone around you is having fun. So, make time to sleep and sleep well.
When you go out on holiday outings, avoid overeating. When you overeat, it can affect your mood and possibly cause depression.
Indulge in Regular Exercise
Exercising is a good activity that can boost your heartbeat rate while improving your health and wellbeing. It is one good way to stay away from the holiday blues this season.
The best part is it doesn’t have to be a full workout routine. A ten-minute daily jog can do your body a great deal of good.
For one, exercise triggers the release of dopamine, an enzyme that helps you feel good. With this mood booster, you’re less likely to fall into thinking patterns that can cause a bad case of the holiday blues.
Stay Positive This Holiday Season
These tips on avoiding the holiday blues are necessary and will help you enjoy stress-free Christmas and New Year celebrations. Ensure you don’t do anything to trigger any depressive thoughts.
On the other hand, if you have a history of depression, it may be best to get professional support. Here at Addiction Rehab, we can provide a reliable support system through the holidays. Start by speaking to any one of our friendly counsellors. Contact us today!
Have a great holiday too!
Related article: Depression Treatment: 7 Effective Tips For Coping