Behind the Festive Facade: Coping With Holiday Depression

by Dec 18, 2023

The holiday season is often portrayed as a period of unbridled happiness and family togetherness. As the twinkling lights shine at night and the air fills with the melody of holiday tunes, it’s easy to believe that joy is all around. However, beneath the glittering surface of this festive season, many individuals find themselves grappling with a starkly contrasting reality: the weight of holiday depression.

From societal pressures and personal memories to the stark contrast between the idealized image of holiday happiness and one’s internal experience, the holiday season can trigger feelings of sadness, isolation, and anxiety, despite its outwardly joyous veneer. But there are steps you can take to combat heavy feelings during the holiday season.

Here’s how to cope with holiday depression.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

Both depression and the holidays can bring a lot of changes to someone’s eating habits. The holidays mean that there are seasonal recipes, sweets and treats, drinks, and holiday get-togethers with loved ones.

On top of that, depression is also known to cause people to either eat too much or eat too little, depending on the person. That’s why it’s extremely important to eat a well-balanced diet. Everything is okay in moderation, but you want to make sure you’re giving your body foods that are filled with protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats so that it can perform to the best of its ability.

The extra holiday drinks and alcohol could make the signs and symptoms of depression worse as well. Try to plan ahead of any holiday parties and bring your own drinks or just drink non-alcoholic beverages.

Prioritize Your Sleep

Another very important area of someone’s life that can be negatively impacted by depression, especially during the holidays, is someone’s sleep schedule and routine. Depression can already cause a person to either sleep too much or not enough.

The extra activities and late-night holiday parties can also impact someone’s sleep. It’s important this time of year more than ever to make sure you’re aiming for at least eight hours of sleep each night. Getting a proper amount of sleep can ensure that you’re resting and recovering enough in order to have enough energy for your next day’s worth of work and activities. Try to go to bed around the same time each night and wake up around the same time each morning to get your body on a natural sleep cycle.

Move Your Body

Exercise is a great way to naturally reduce stress and improve your overall health from the inside out. You can move your body in ways that work best for you. Moving your body could include things like going for a run outside, walking around your neighborhood, or attending a workout class with friends.

Exercise doesn’t have to mean spending hours on end at the gym. It just means getting your blood pumping and heart racing. Aim for at least thirty minutes of exercise daily to see the benefits.

Seek Additional Support

Although there are lifestyle changes that you can make to help improve and reduce some of the signs and symptoms you may be experiencing, there isn’t a replacement for proper treatment when it comes to depression. One of the best treatment options for depression is to seek additional support from a licensed and trained mental health professional.

A therapist will be able to work with you to figure out what may be causing your depression. They’ll also be able to work with you to help minimize some of the signs and symptoms of depression that you may be experiencing. Reach out to us today to set up an intake session. 

Click here for more information on depression therapy.