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Holiday Depression is Real
For many, the holidays are a time of stress and anxiety, which are brought on by a number of different factors that contribute to and trigger holiday depression. What is normally a time for happiness and cheer, can be a time of sadness and despair for many.
Holiday Depression Triggers
Holiday Depression Trigger #1: Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD
Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that shows its nasty head during the change of seasons, particularly from summer to winter – from light to dark.
It may appear to others that a person suffering from SAD may be merely experiencing the ‘holiday blues’. But being affected by SAD is a real thing and should not be ignored.
- Step out into the sun as much as you can. Go for a walk when the sun is out.
- Turn to Essential Oils. Using a simple blend of these have been known to relieve anxiety and stress, and even promotes better sleep. (Resource: Ultimate Bundles currently has this bundle on sale and as someone who is regularly affected by SAD, I truly love it.)
- Let the light in. Open all your curtains and let the light in. Don’t worry if it’s cold. The cold in itself can leave you feeling invigorated.
Holiday Depression Trigger #2: Stress – Money, Family, Activities
Without a doubt, the stresses of the holidays can trigger depression.
While for most people, the holiday season is a time of fun with parties, gatherings, and get-togethers. For many though, it is a time of stress and anxiety. Whether the stress is born out of financial stress, fatigue, or even unhealthy habits like eating or drinking too much; the holiday stress can take its toll on many.
- Take some time out for your self. Before you begin to think of others – before you let the chaos into your word, take some time to look after YOU. Try these 20 Simple but Effective Ways to Love Yourself.
- Set realistic and fun goals for the holidays. Do not offer to host Christmas dinner at your place if you know that you won’t enjoy it! Better yet – get this planner, which is designed to help take the overwhelm away, keeping you organized and on your toes. It covers everything from holiday planning, gift shopping, menu planning, grocery lists, and to do lists etc.
- Keep a tab on your spending. Financial stress is a big contributor to holiday stress. Shopping for presents can quite stressful, especially when we all genuinely want to give thoughtful and meaningful presents, and the dollars get in the way of it. If like me, you are on a budget – worry not! Here is a guide some of the cutest and most thoughtful gifts for your friends and family for under $15. These are great examples of gifts which are sure to please and yet, won’t break the bank or empty your pockets out!
Holiday Depression Trigger #3: Past Events
And while getting over such events are difficult enough as they are; getting over them during the holidays can prove to be a little tougher.
Small things such as the sound of laughter, the smell of perfume, the sound of a song playing, can easily trigger the memory of a painful experience. Apart from turning into a hermit, there is little we can do to keep these memories from popping up. That said, there are some things you can do to help ease the hurt a little bit.
- Be aware that people may and will approach you with questions. It may be a good idea to think about or even rehearse a response to the all too famous question, “How are you holding up?”. Keep in mind that they do not mean to cause offense – they are merely trying to feel their way through it as well.
- Talk it out. Sometimes, talking about it helps. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, it’s perfectly acceptable to talk about it. Holiday get-togethers can be a good time to reminisce about those we have lost. Think about the happy times and try as best as you can to let go of the sadness.
- Spend time with children. Christmastime becomes even more magical when children are around. Just like this beautiful little girl, children have the power to show us gratitude.
- Depression & Anxiety: Living With My Eyes Shut
- A Simple Solution to help Ease Your Anxiety Levels
- How to Help A Loved One Left Behind By Suicide
Go Further: Resources to Help You Manage Holiday Depression
- 5 Clever Tools Everyone with Anxiety Should Have
- The Self-Care Challenge: Simplify Your Well-being
- Stress Less Cards – 50 Inspirational Mindfulness & Meditation Exercises