For those being treated for depression, and for those who suffer SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during the less sunny months of the year, the holidays can make coping with depression become more difficult. While people being treated for depression know the holidays should be a happy time, the additional stresses, hard on anyone, can be even worse for people battling depression.
How To Cope With Depression During The Holidays
Recognize your personal triggers, those things that heighten your depression.
The Mayo Clinic staff has defined the following as major triggers:
- Relationships: This trigger can be two-fold. While family tensions and misunderstandings stand out more during the holidays, especially when members spend several days together or attend the traditional gatherings, the absence of those same loved ones during the holidays can magnify feelings of loneliness. The key is finding a balance that works for you.
- Finances: When you factor in additional gift, food, and travel expenses incurred during the holidays, your budget can easily be strained to the maximum. If you use credit cards, you'll spend months paying off the additional costs of the holidays. Financial stress can definitely increase feelings of depression, so keep on budget and cross this stressor off your list.
- Increased Physical Demands: In an already busy and hectic world, your energy levels are really put to the test by the added shopping, decorating, cooking, and fitting in all the parties and gatherings you're invited to attend throughout the holiday season. The extra exhaustion can lead to the deepening of depression, so plan to include time for regular relaxation time.