Tips For Coping With Depression During The Holidays
The holidays are supposed to be joyous times spent with family and loved ones. For people suffering from depression, however, the season can be full of stressors that are difficult to avoid. It often feels like you’re sad even when you have all the things you want – a happy family and great life.
1. Start with yourself
The holidays can be a time for reflection on your past year, making resolutions for the new one, and reconnecting with friends and family. If you find yourself feeling down, take time to think about things going well in your life. What did you achieve? Who helped you? What are some goals you have for the new year? Keep a journal and write down positive things that happened or won’t happen again this year.
2. Get away from it all
If you find that the holiday season brings up negative thoughts and feelings, choose to avoid them. Get away from people, places, and things that trigger sadness or stressful thoughts. Holiday gatherings can be particularly triggering because they bring up images of what you want your own holiday experiences to be like. If they are too much to bear, leave or switch to another activity.
3. Don’t keep negative company
Avoid people who don’t understand that depression is a disease or may even make fun of those who are depressed. If your friends and family are unsupportive or you find yourself in negative social situations, it may be time to end the relationship.
4. Ask for help
People with depression often feel that they are alone – but they aren’t. Depression is treatable and there are many things you can do to cope with the holiday season. If you’re interested in taking an online course, chat with your doctor about how he or she might help you prepare for a difficult season.
The holidays are a great time to reconnect with family and friends. Like any other time of the year, though, they can also be stressful. By using coping strategies you learn and therapy practice, you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday season as much as anyone else.