A Guide to Coping with Holiday Depression
The holiday season fosters excitement, joy, and other positive feelings. Yet for some people, holiday depression is a serious problem. If holiday depression is ignored and goes untreated, it can hinder your or a loved one’s ability to celebrate and enjoy the holidays.
What Is Holiday Depression?
Holiday depression refers to feelings of sadness, loneliness, and anxiety that occur during the holiday season. It happens for a variety of reasons, such as stress, fatigue, financial worries, and unrealistic holiday expectations.
There are many symptoms associated with holiday depression, including over-eating, insomnia, headaches, and excessive drinking. In addition, holiday depression can begin at the start of the holiday season, and continue after New Year’s Day.
Holiday depression is not always preventable, but people who can identify the symptoms of this problem can develop and use techniques and strategies to manage their symptoms. That way, these individuals can take steps to cope with depression symptoms before they dampen their holiday season.
How Can a Person Cope with Holiday Depression?
One of the best ways to manage holiday depression is to set realistic expectations for the holiday season from the get-go. For example, a person can choose to follow a few past holiday traditions, but also be open to accepting a few new ones. This can help a person avoid stress, anxiety, and other depression symptoms frequently associated with the idea of trying to have a “picture-perfect” holiday season.
Creating a holiday budget is a great idea to help cope with financial worries that can sometimes cause holiday depression. With a budget in place, an individual will know precisely how much he or she can spend on holiday gifts. Plus, the budget may even lead a person to become more creative with his or her holiday gift-giving, resulting in homemade gifts and gifts of service.
Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen is often beneficial during the holiday season, too. Junk food sometimes contributes to depression, and the temptation to eat fruitcake, cookies, and other holiday treats may seem overwhelming. So, if necessary, an individual can enjoy a healthy snack before attending holiday events where these treats will be available to satisfy his or her hunger pangs. One can also exercise for at least a few minutes daily, as exercise helps ease depression symptoms.
Should You Seek Medical Help for Holiday Depression?
For those who find that their holiday depression makes it tough to function, or causes suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death, seek medical help right away.
A doctor can perform a physical exam, lab tests, and a psychiatric evaluation to help diagnose holiday depression. If a doctor believes an individual is dealing with holiday depression, medication may be prescribed to help the patient manage his or her depression symptoms. Or, psychotherapy may be recommended to help an individual develop coping techniques and strategies for his or her depression symptoms.
The medical clinicians at Achieve Medical Center can help patients with holiday depression as well. Our clinicians prioritize patient care, and work closely with each patient to provide him or her with a personalized depression treatment plan. We also provide extensive and compassionate mental health and wellness services designed to address the biological, psychological, and social aspects of each of our patients.
Schedule a Depression Treatment Consultation with Achieve Medical Center
The holiday season comes only once a year, but holiday depression sometimes prevents people from enjoying the holiday season to the fullest extent. At Achieve Medical Center, we provide medication, psychotherapy, and other treatment options to help patients manage holiday depression symptoms. To learn more or to schedule a treatment consultation, please contact us online, or call us today at (858) 427-5060.