The holiday season is full of joy and family, but it can be challenging for people living with mental health issues – specifically, people living with depressive disorders. The holiday season can make depressive symptoms worse. With all the stress that comes with the holidays, remembering people who we’ve lost and can no longer be there to celebrate, and more to worry about, depressive symptoms can flare this time of year. Fortunately, there are some things that people who are dealing with more severe symptoms of depression can do during the holiday season to manage symptoms. If you’re dealing with depression symptoms this holiday season, some of the things you can do to help manage symptoms include:
The holiday season is coming quickly, but there are things you can do to set yourself up for success. Firstly, you can manage the expectations you have for yourself and the holidays. This can include making sure that you prepare yourself for what’s to come. If there are certain things that stimulate depressive episodes or emotions, make sure you avoid these things. This can even include spending time with family and friends who may expect you to become involved in events. Making sure that you’re okay with these boundaries helps you to set your expectations for the holidays on a realistic level.
It can be easy to get sucked into thoughts and memories that provoke negative emotions during the holiday season, especially if this time of year is particularly hard for you. So, one thing you can do to distract yourself and make new, more positive memories is to try new things. Rather than sticking to the old traditions that may trigger unhappy emotions, establish new holiday traditions. This can include doing some of your favorite activities with friends and family, hosting a holiday party, driving around and looking at holiday lights, having a cookoff, signing up for a holiday marathon, and more! When you give yourself things to look forward to that you will enjoy and make new traditions, you are better prepared to steer clear of the things that may trigger a depressive episode this time of year.
Many people who deal with depression during the holidays may not think that this time of the year is a good time to reach out for help. But, getting mental health help may be the best gift you receive this holiday season. Additionally, the people in your life who know and love you will embrace your decision and support you along the way. One great way to reach out for help during the holidays is to find support through an outpatient mental health facility, like Delray Brain Science. All of our services are available on an outpatient basis so that our patients can get the help and healing they need without having to uproot their lives (and their holiday plans). This way, you can get the help you need without worrying about finding time out of your busy holiday schedule.
Find out how we help people who are dealing with depression through our brain-based approaches to treatment from our website today.