While Christmas is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” often times, the holiday season is when stress, anxiety, and depression are at an all time high. Financial issues, missing loved ones, busy schedules, and other stressors can all lead to seasonal depression. The loss of sunlight and unhealthy eating are also big factors. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, 64% of people are affected by holiday blues, so trust us when we say that if you are feeling this way, you’re definitely not alone!
If you find yourself feeling overly fatigued, frustrated, lonely, sad, or wanting to be isolated, there’s a good possibility you are suffering from holiday blues. This is a period of depression and will usually go away after the holiday or winter season, but should still be taken very seriously! If your feelings become too overwhelming, make your feelings known and talk with someone about your anxiety or depression. If your symptoms have yet to take a serious toll on you, try these tips to help you feel better and to prevent getting the holiday blues next year:
- Stick to a normal routine and get enough sleep. Black Friday, parties, and other events may make it difficult, but it is extremely important for your mental health.
- Try to exercise at least 4-5 times a week and don’t overeat. Weight gain can be a huge contributor to holiday depression, so prevent this from happening by watching what you eat and exercising during the holiday season.
- Treat yourself. If you have the extra money, buy yourself a gift or schedule yourself a massage. If you’re on a tight budget, light some candles, take a nice warm bath, and play some soothing music to allow yourself to unwind.
- Set a holiday budget. Financial stress is huge during the holiday season, so instead of spending blindly, plan out what you want to spend on people and then choose gifts accordingly.
- Spend time with friends, family members, or co-workers. Even if you’re feeling down, make plans with the people in your life. Socialization is very important for overcoming depression and they may be able to help you feel better.