Depression and the Holidays: How to cope?
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How are you doing?
Now that the holiday season is upon us, I thought I'd open this discussion for us to talk about depression during this period. While for many the holidays are a period of joy, celebration, and gathering with family and friends, for others it is a time that brings sadness, loneliness, anxiety, or depression.
Here are a few helpful tips for coping with stress and depression around the holidays:
- Acknowledge your feelings: Take a moment now and then to check in with yourself and how you are feeling. Are things hectic at work? Did you have an argument with a friend? Have you lost someone close to you? Remember that it is normal to feel stress, frustration, sadness, or grief and that it is ok to take some time to express those feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.
- Be open to change: While the greeting cards and movies may create a certain image of the holidays, know that things don't have to be "perfect", or even like they were last year. This year more than ever, they way we celebrate may be different, and that's ok. Find new ways to keep traditions alive or create new ones by connecting through pictures, emails or videos, or connect virtually through video call. Our holiday plans may look different this year, but we can still find ways to celebrate.
- Reach out: If you're feeling sad or lonely, reach out to someone and share how you feel. Talking to a friend or family member about your concerns can help, so don't be afraid to send a text or make a call or video chat. In these times many community, religious, or support groups have gone digital - check local websites or social media for online events or services for a sense of community or companionship. Helping others can also raise your spirits and deepen your friendships, consider sending a card or dropping off a meal to a friend's porch this holiday season!
- Take a breather: Be attuned to your needs and make some time for yourself. Take a moment to do something you enjoy or find relaxing on your own, be it listening to music, reading a book, or going for a walk. Spending just 15 minutes on your own can be a great refresher.
- Don't abandon healthy habits: The holidays are period often filled with good food and relaxing, but when it gets to be too much the overindulgence can add to your stress or guilt. Try to:
- Get enough sleep
- Eat balanced, healthy meals
- Have a health snack before a holiday meal so that you don't overindulge
- Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity in each day
- Try relaxation techniques when you need it, such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation
- Avoid excessive alcohol, tobacco, or drug use
- Don't be afraid to cut off the screens - our fast-paced information culture can be stressful and overwhelming, make sure to adjust the time you spend reading or watching the news or on social media if needed
And you, what do you think? What are the holidays like for you? Do you have a hardder time with your depression around the holidays? How do you manage your depression this time of year?
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Feel free to share your thoughts and advice here, we're all here to help and support one another!
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@Courtney_J I really struggle during this time of year. I don't have the best relationship with my family and I'm an introvert, so it can be hard sometimes at family events. I don't relate well to them I think because of my depression and then I get overwhelmed being surrounded by people non-stop basically from Thanksgiving to New Year's.
And then this year has a whole GLOBAL PANDEMIC thrown on top like the cherry on top of the cake, so I didn't go to my family's for THanksgiving in the hopes that maybe some of us can get together for Christmas. So I've been feeling really isolated and alone.
My depression definitely becomes more intense during the holidays. It starts on November 1st and doesn't get any better until December 31st. I don't think it helps that I'm more or less estranged from my family. I've tried to figure out why but they're not cooperating.
My depression from home life is so bad. Schools closed autistic son no luck with placement can’t cope anymore
I'm sorry for all you're going through with depression and the problems placing your son in a environment that is conducive to his needs.
I have a suggestion. Can a trusted friend or family member come in and take care of your son for a few hours while you leave the house and get a few hours to yourself. You could also check out with a friend or family member to see if you could drop your son off and then if you'd like you could go home and do some self-care like a bath, read a book, watch a movie or even take a nap. It's up to you. I hope this helps.
The Holidays have been really hard for the last 3 years, you see I lost my Father and my Mom 11 months apart, and the year is going to be even worse because I can't be with my Aunt and cousins that support me through these times. I just thank God that I do get to be with Son, daughter in-law and my 2 Grandsons, here in New Mexico we have a limit of 5 people in a group so we ad up to five, but we still don't get to see each other much because they try to keep me safe, I hate that I already have to deal with this disease which has changed my life already, but now with this virus I feel like I don't have a life anymore.
But I'm trying my best to stay strong and get through this like all of you, I hope everyone tries there best to stay strong through this Holidays and everyday we can do this. Even if you can't have a big Christmas decorate your homes it helps to look at the pretty decorations, and puts a smile on my face and kept me busy putting them up.
God Bless a!! Of you.
I understand how it is to be estranged from your family you see I went from being a family of seven I lost my two brothers 6 months apart 10 years ago 4 years ago I lost my mom and 11 months after that I lost my father he left me his home so the two sisters I had don't want nothing to do with me because of that , he knew how sick I was and that I needed it the most I never thought that I would not be working right now but because of this virus I can't I sell real estate so I can't be out in public. The last words I heard from my sister if and when you die if you want us by your deathbed you'll do the right thing and sell the house, so I totally understand what you're going through. God bless
Stay strong those people that don't want to be in our life are negative and you don't need that God will bring you people into your life that may not be your blood but I've learned the blood is not thicker than water so stay strong Merry Christmas
My heart goes out to all of you who are feeling worse because of the expectations dumped on everyone to be all happy merry yada yada.
My family has never been the cozy everyone together kind of family. My grandmothers never expected family to gather, my mom followed their lead. The one Christmas I spent at the family home was frustrating because my sister and I were used to doing things our way since we had lived in the same town for 8 years creating our own traditions. Once my kids were grown and gone, I stopped doing Christmas, totally came out as being an Atheist and started throwing a big party on Winter Solstice.
My daughter has an 8 yr old so she does do a lovely day for him. This year her niece/my granddaughter flew from Austin TX to Denver CO to be with them. My son is a TV news producer, he always works so his team can do their thing. My sister & BIL have been gone for 3 months to AZ. On December 25 we normally do Dead Actor Day, watching the movies of an actor who died that year. This year we are shifting to Jan. 1 (also my birthday). We typically put the word out to friends who have no place to be to join us. It is always a great day.
This is a long post, I hope it helps anyone feeling lonely to know that you can do it Your Way and take that pressure off yourself. Message me if you would like some support.
Peace and Health
This year has actually been better than many other holiday seasons for me. I got the depression out of the way back in mid November with my birthday—always tough for me because it comes at an awkward time and this year worse because of the election uncertainties and renewed worries over COVID getting worse over the winter. By Thanksgiving I had bounced back—COVID didn’t much affect our traditions because I don’t have any family anyway. If anything the holidays were less awkward than usual. And I really appreciated not having to drive to church in icy conditions. Lovely snow flurries were a bonus!
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hello everyone, I live in NYC and at the begining of covid while elmhurst hospital was storing bodies in the freezer outside that hospital, I lost 7 friends in one day. and 2 family members. I have also been in and out of the hospital for the whole year, 5 times with pnemonia, one open heart surgery, one pace maker and i flatlined during my stay at hospital. I fell like I lost my soul.. But i'm keeping my head up..
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"Save A life" Adopt A Pet" MagdaMaria2 aka Paws_4_Cause
Has anyone tried kefir milk or apple cider vinegar for ulcerative colitis ? What to do with internal hemmroids ? Be blessed. Thanks,it's too lonely no kids ,no family,wish I had a mate !
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