How to Battle Depression Around the Holidays

December 17, 2018

how to battle depression during the holidays

While the holiday season may bring happy memories and cheer for some people, the feelings of unrealistic expectations, financial pressures and anxiety during winter months can heighten stress or depression for many. According to a survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, fatigue, stress and irritability were the top three negative emotions felt during the holiday season. Below we share some ways to battle depression around the holidays: 

Take Care of Yourself
One of the reasons depression can flair up during this time is because we do not take care of ourselves. Although the holiday season is quite busy, it is important to keep your health in mind and take proactive steps to put yourself first. Building in downtime and daily exercise is key, as is maintaining a healthy diet when possible. Drink lots of water and for adults, keep alcohol consumption in moderation. Excessive drinking is one of the triggers for depression

Set Realistic Expectations
Many people want the holidays to be perfect. Unfortunately, life does not always go as planned. Expect the unexpected and reset your expectations.  If you already know that family gatherings can be stressful, recognize it is not your job to make sure everyone gets along and is happy. Be grateful for the time you get to spend with loved ones and focus on the positive aspects of your relationships.

Pace Yourself
With so much going on during the holiday season, it sometimes feels like you have to say yes to every invitation or event, personal or related to work. Try not to overextend yourself and set realistic goals on what you can take on. Remember to get plenty of sleep, because sleep deprivation affects your psychological state and mental health

Reach Out for Help
If you are feeling depressed, there are resources to get you through any difficult time. The Crisis Call Center (1.800.273.8255) is available 24/7 to offer emotional assistance. Support groups are also available in the Chicago area if you prefer to meet in person. You can find information on some of these groups here. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America offers an anonymous peer-to-peer online anxiety and depression support group with more than 20,000 subscribers. 

Access Community Health Network
If you are suffering from depression around the holidays, ACCESS is here for you. We offer behavioral health services to help treat depression, anxiety and other conditions. If you have any questions or just want to talk, call us at 1.866.267.2353 or schedule an appointment here today.