Often, we associate the holidays with tidings of joy, happiness, and glee. But the opposite can also apply. The financial and social pressures of the season can make you feel inadequate, stressed, or depressed. Our guide delves into the reasons for holiday depression. We also supply tips to help you feel better when depression strikes.
What Causes Holiday Depression?
This time of the year requires more out of us. The pressures of engaging in social activities can produce feelings of anxiety, reaching the point where you would prefer not to go. You could also feel the squeeze of trying to buy gifts for everyone when money is tight. And all the demands of holiday gatherings could lead to you feeling exhausted and worn thin.
It can also be difficult for those who live far away from family and friends. The commercials of family gatherings and the memories of previous holidays can make you feel isolated and alone. And these feelings can result in depression symptoms.
Symptoms of Holiday Depression
Some of the most common behaviors associated with depression are:
- You lack interest in doing anything. You would rather shut down and stay away from others. You might cancel plans with friends or loved ones because you do not feel like going.
- You might also feel more fatigued. Having depression can wear you out emotionally and physically, resulting in feelings of restlessness even after a good night’s sleep.
- You also experience trouble concentrating on tasks.
- You express feelings of sadness, apathy, or emptiness.
- You could also have either a reduction in appetite or a sudden increase in it.
How Do I Feel Better During the Holidays?
- The first step is to admit you are feeling depressed. On its own, it isn’t an easy step to do. But it gives you power because you’re willing to acknowledge how you feel.
- From here, share with a friend or loved one how you’re feeling and what triggers those feelings. They can serve as an accountability partner to be there for you when you feel down or empty.
- Find healthy activities to help boost your mood. Eating healthy, refraining from drinking, and exercising are all steps you can do to feel better.
- You can also expand your social circle. If you don’t know anyone near you, try meeting people who share the same interests. You can find local groups on Meta (previously Facebook) or Meetup. You could also try a new activity like a book club, exercise class, or hobby to meet others.
- It is okay to say no. If you feel overwhelmed, you must strike a balance between doing everything you want to do and wearing yourself out.
Help is Here When You Need It
The holidays are a difficult time for those suffering from depression. In a survey of people diagnosed with mental illnesses, 64% said the holidays worsened their conditions. The study suggests the holiday season places a magnifying glass on why people with depression struggle.
If you experience any depression symptoms and want to talk, feel free to reach out to us at Pace Recovery Center. We offer inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for depression.