Home » Uncategorized » Coping with Holiday Depression

Coping with Holiday Depression

depressed woman

The holidays are a time of year when we celebrate all that is hopeful and cheerful. But it can also be a sad or lonely period for those who have experienced loss among family or friends, or a stressful period for those who host or have financial problems.

Factors that can contribute to holiday depression include:

  • Associating the holidays with unresolved family issues or a painful childhood
  • Facing the loss of a loved one with whom you have shared the holidays
  • Having unrealistic expectations of family and friends, and trying to be a “perfect” host
  • Having an expectation that you “should” feel good
  • Being away from family and friends; feeling isolated
  • Reflecting on losses or disappointments over the past year
  • Coping with changes in family obligations, particularly after a recent marriage or divorce
  • Drinking more alcohol, which is often more readily available during the holidays

Some negative emotions around the holiday are normal and should be expected. In fact, it is often good to reflect upon the year past and re-envision new or slightly different paths in moving forward. Normal negative emotions are generally short-term and don’t interfere with functioning.

Rest assured that there are ways to cope with the downsides of the holidays.

Reframing the Holidays

  • Find support. People facing difficult family situations should set aside time to spend with their friends. Spend time with people who care about you.
  • Be around others. Those who feel isolated or alone should take advantage of resources in their community or volunteer their time at a local charity. When we’re focused on others, we get out of our own heads and are present for others.
  • Reflect on the past. Honor and remember loved ones who have passed away.
  • Remember what’s important. Spend some time focusing on family, religious beliefs or traditions.
  • Try something new. Take a vacation with a family member or friend.
  • If you are religious, take time to reflect on the spiritual significance of the holidays.
  • Try to appreciate the good things you have now instead of focusing on the past.
  • Stay active. Get out. Go for a walk. Window shop.

Get help if you need it. Anyone who feels pervasively or severely depressed during the holidays should consider talking to a mental health professional. Our professional therapists and psychiatrists can help.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.