Holidays & Depression
The emotional and financial stress of the holidays can trigger depression in some people.There are so many social activities, chores and events during the holiday season. You simply can’t do it all. Keep your expectations reasonable and set realistic goals about what you can and cannot accomplish. Say ‘No‘ when you need to; your priority is you and your family. Spread the joy out over the entire holiday season rather than placing all of the importance on one specific day or event.
Holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, For many people, December is the busiest time of the year. When work pressures pile up and the calendar gets full with social obligations Some people may have a small social circle of family and friends or lack opportunities for socialization. People who have feelings of disconnectedness often avoid social interactions at holiday time. Some people may be keenly aware of the loss of a loved one during the holiday season as well.
At the holidays, the pressure of trying to do everything — plan the perfect holiday, make it home to see your family, say yes to every event, meet those year-end deadlines — can be enough to send anyone into a tail spin. And if you’re prone to anxiety and depression, stress (and a lack of sleep) can take a significant toll on your mood. A heightened pressure and fear of not getting everything done are some of the most common triggers for the holiday blues.
The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too
Stick to a budget, Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.
Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.