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Coping with Holiday Depression

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Depression is hard to deal with at any given time, but it’s especially difficult during the holidays. You feel like you’re expected to feel the same “holiday joy” that everyone else is feeling, and you don’t want to ruin anyone else’s spirits by telling them that you’re depressed. You then feel more isolated and even more alone.

Holiday Depression, Depression, Holidays

Holiday depression shouldn’t be battled alone.

The fact is, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, the are a ton of people that feel that the holidays are the worst time of the year. People who don’t have clinical depression or deal with high levels of stress can be miserable around the holidays.

Here are some great tips from WebMD:

  1. Keep your expectations modest. Don’t get hung up on what the holidays are supposed to be like and how you’re supposed to feel. If you’re comparing your holidays to some abstract greeting card ideal, they’ll always come up short. So don’t worry about holiday spirit and take the holidays as they come.
  2. Don’t assume the worst. “I think some people go into the holidays with expectations so low that it makes them more depressed,” says Duckworth. So don’t start the holiday season anticipating disaster. If you try to take the holidays as they come and limit your expectations — both good and bad — you may enjoy them more.
  3. Volunteer. Sure, you may feel stressed out and booked up already. But consider taking time to help people who have less than you. Try volunteering at a soup kitchen or working for a toy drive. “You could really find some comfort from it,” says Duckworth, “knowing that you’re making a small dent in the lives of people who have so little.”
  4. Ask for help — but be specific. See if your spouse will lug out the decorations. Ask your sister to help you cook — or host the holiday dinner itself. Invite a friend along on shopping trips. People may be more willing to help out than you expect; they just need some guidance from you on what to do.
  5. Exercise. While you may not feel like you have the time to exercise during the holidays, the benefits are worth it. “We know that exercise has a pretty strong anti-anxiety, anti-depression effect,” says Duckworth. You can work physical activity into your errands. When you’re shopping, take a few extra laps around the mall. Walk your Christmas cards to the post office instead of driving.

To see the rest of their tips, you can check them out here: https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/25-ways-find-joy-balance-during-holidays#1

We will be posting more tips that we find helpful throughout the month of December. You can follow us on social media to keep an eye out.

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