The holidays can be a difficult time for people who suffer from depression. For some, the holiday season is a time of joy and happiness, but for others, it can be a time of loneliness and sadness. If you are struggling with depression during the holidays, don’t worry – you are not alone. This blog post will offer some tips on how to cope with holiday depression and make the most of this special time of year.
What Causes Holiday Blues?
There are many triggers for depression during the holidays. Symptoms may worsen for someone with ongoing depression.
Lack of Interest in Holiday Activities
Depression is persistent sadness with a general lack of interest in activities of daily living. Holidays are notorious for having plenty of social undertakings – from parties, community festivities, family gatherings, and vacations. It is burdensome for someone without interest to dress up and show up for such events. Depression also causes severe tiredness and negativity that idealizes suicide, which can interfere with a person’s desire to participate in holiday activities.
Depression thrives in isolation. The thought of having to prepare to join friends and loved ones during social events can trigger intense anxiety and apprehension. A negative thinking pattern also fuels the dread of meeting friends and loved ones.
Some families can also make the entire socializing experience painful and unbearable for depressed individuals. Competition about status quo, life progress, and battling addiction within social circles makes such gatherings depressing for less fulfilled individuals.
The holiday season is expensive. Preparing for festivities, decorations, food, and travel costs a pretty penny. It quickly brings out a sharp contrast between the haves and the have-nots. Without affordability, the stress and pressure to keep up and provide can weigh a well-meaning soul down.
Many people battle sickness, death, homelessness, and lack during the holiday season. In such homes, there is often no reason to partake in holiday festivities. The distinction becomes great since every home, business, street, or media outlet participates in the celebration. This situation can trigger depression or worsen the symptoms of someone with holiday blues.
Tips for Coping with Depression
It is possible to manage depression and join the rest of the world in celebration during the holidays. Here are a few day-to-day solutions for managing seasonal depression.
Work with What You Have
The holidays can be a difficult time for those who are struggling financially. While many people associate the season with gift-giving, festive decorations, and elaborate meals, it is important to remember that true happiness during the holidays comes from spending quality time with family, friends, and loved ones. Taking part in activities that don’t cost anything, like volunteering or spending time in nature, can also lead to greater contentment, no matter how large or small your budget may be.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The holiday season is not an excuse to indulge in alcohol or pro-inflammatory foods, like comfort foods. Enjoy healthy, finger-licking cuisines with nutrients that enhance brain health. The brain needs nutrients from food to repair and maintain the nervous system. It also uses nutrients to run biochemical functions like mood regulation.
For instance, B Vitamins provide energy for nerves and are vital in maintaining the myelin sheath that is central in transmitting sensations. The B vitamin complex also provides pre-cursors for enzymes that quicken energy production and expenditure in the brain and body. Vitamin D has receptors in mood-mediating pathways and has a role in mood regulation.
Spend Time with Friends and Loved Ones
Interacting with friends and loved ones release feel-good chemicals like dopamine and endorphins, which inhibit pathways that regulate negative moods. These “happy hormones” also elicit feelings of happiness, satisfaction, and contentment.
Friends and loved ones are also essential for support and accountability.
- They provide opportunities for meaningful conversations.
- They are avenues for unloading stress, worries, and struggles.
- They avert negative thinking, encourage rationalization, and point out illogic thought processes.
- They lower the likelihood of abusing alcohol and drugs by having other constructive activities and solutions for chasing away holiday blues.
Get Some Rest
Sleep is significant for balancing your mood. A full night’s rest releases hormones that inhibit depression. One hormone, melatonin, stimulates sleepiness and rest. It also rejuvenates the body and facilitates healing and recovery for damaged and worn-out cells. Another beneficial hormone released during sleep is serotonin, a feel-good hormone that promotes emotional stability and induces calmness and happiness.
Seek Professional Help
TMS therapy is a safe and effective treatment for depression, and it can be especially beneficial during the holiday season. TMS therapy helps to alleviate the symptoms of depression by stimulating areas of the brain associated with mood regulation. The stimulation signals that help regulate mood are then sent to the rest of the body, leading to increased energy and improved overall mental health. With regular sessions of TMS therapy over several weeks, people can experience a significant decrease in their depressive symptoms.