Five ways to combat depression during the holidays.

November 20, 2018

November 20, 2018 – During the holiday season, you hear a lot of talk about all the hustle and bustle and extra time and commitment it takes to make it through the next six weeks. All those additional duties that fill up the calendar can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming.

Depression during the holidays is a very real thing for millions. Interestingly enough, many correlate the holiday season with an increase in suicides. Thankfully, statistics show that suicide occurrences are actually lower during the holidays. Still, many will experience melancholy and fall into a funk that can be rough to bounce back from.

If you’re one of those that tends to struggle with feeling down during this season, there are some things you can do to help get you into a positive space. Here are five suggestions!

  • Manage your expectations. Plenty of people will fill your calendar up with parties, invitations to dinner and other events. They’ll work themselves into a frenzy thinking of all the many tasks out there that got onto a list that ends up creating the illusion that we’re making the holidays special. What if you find you’ve not been invited to Thanksgiving dinner? Don’t let it consume you. Perhaps volunteering at a food bank to help others in need can lift your spirits. Taking yourself out to dinner that night as a treat isn’t a bad idea, either. If all the gift giving drives you mad and causes undue stress, perhaps a donation to a charitable cause in your family or friend’s name is the answer. Give permission for things to not turn out the way you had them in your mind!
  • Take yourself to the movies. There are often a slew of great movies to view during the season. Lying around at home and just watching something on Netflix isn’t the answer! The actual process of getting out of the house and heading to a movie theater for a good film—especially if you don’t do it often anymore—will get you moving and put you in a different space for a while. Changes in scenery can be a good antidote to feeling down. The escapism of a movie can’t hurt, either!
  • Reach out to your support system. Whether it be a friend or family member, or a sponsor if you’ve had addiction issues, it’s important to stay connected. It’s easy when you’re in a negative or depressed space to isolate yourself. Getting together with someone helps you realize your value and place in the world!
  • Give yourself permission to skip something. Does the idea of having to put up a Christmas tree seem like a chore? Skip it for the year! It’s okay to allow yourself a break from some of the holiday “think you have to do’s” for a year.
  • Don’t over-commit. It’s easy at this time of year to keep saying “yes” to every invitation, every event, every concert… Give yourself permission to say “no” a few times. Balancing your commitments will help give you the time and space needed to recharge through the season.

Naturally, if you have a hot tub or sauna, this is the time to keep an appointment with that soak or sauna session as often as possible. The heat, release of endorphins, and quiet time will do wonders to keep you moving through the coming weeks and ensure you’re taking care of yourself at the same time. Don’t underestimate the power of hot water and a toasty sauna to keep you balanced and keep feeling down at bay! You’ll be grateful for it during this busy time.