Depression and Self-Care During the Holidays

Put the Me Back in Merry

The holidays are considered a time for celebration and togetherness, a time where we unite to share gifts, refreshments, and cheer.  This time of year can be especially difficult for those suffering from anxiety or depressive disorders.  You might feel isolated, stressed, and tired.  Give yourself the gift of self-love by following these tips for self-care during the holidays.

Take Time for Yourself

Even in the midst of the hustle and bustle, it’s important to make some time to get away from it all.  Even if it’s just an hour, carve out some time just for yourself to take a nap, read a book, meditate, or whatever will bring you some calm.  Don’t stretch yourself too far, and pay attention to how you feel.  If you start to feel overwhelmed, plot your retreat.

Make a List and Check It Twice

It’s easy to get caught up in everything that needs to be done.  Take a moment to consider, what is the most important thing that you need to do?  What isn’t a big deal?  What can wait?  Don’t be afraid to ask for help and delegate responsibility.  It’s not necessary for every detail to be perfect, and there’s no reason why you have to do it all yourself.  You should be able to enjoy the holidays too!

Find Your Support

At any point in the year, it is essential to have a support system in place.  Even if that means one person who knows and understands your situation, you need someone you can talk with without judgment.  This could be someone who feels the same, so you can support each other.  During the holidays, we often have to be around people we aren’t used to, or whose company we don’t enjoy.  Find your safe people that you can lean on if you need to.

Watch the Sugar and Spice

It’s very easy to overindulge during the holidays, but nothing puts a damper on a festive mood like a sour stomach.  What we put into our bodies has a very real effect on our mood, so be careful not to drink too much alcohol or eat too much unhealthy food.  Make sure to drink plenty of water and put fruits and vegetables on your plate before reaching for the Christmas ham, pie, and cookies.

Give Joy to Get Joy

Nothing feeds our souls like spreading some kindness.  This holiday season, explore opportunities to bless others in your community.  Join a caroling group and visit a nursing home, prison, or shelter.  Volunteer at a soup kitchen, wrap gifts for needy families, or help with a coat drive.  Doing good is beneficial for our sense of self-worth and reminds us of all that is good in our lives and all that we have to be grateful for.

Go Outside!

During the winter holidays, the days are shorter and we spend a lot of time indoors.  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects thousands of people every year, and one way to cope with it is to get some sunlight and fresh air.  Bundle up and take the kids outside to build a snowman, go downtown for some window shopping, or walk around your neighborhood and admire the decorations.  It’s a great way to take some time for yourself and enjoy some space and a quieter environment.  Plus, exercise is a fantastic mood-lifter.