by Dr. Becky Spelman
Living with depression can be a challenge at the best of times. During the holidays, when we are all “supposed” to be happy all the time, it can be doubly difficult. Friends and relatives can become impatient and resentful if your depressed mood puts a downer on a party, and family tensions can be hard for everyone.
The good news is that you can take control of your own symptoms, and that there are active steps you can take to manage your condition as well as possible, even during the most chaotic moments of the holidays!
One step at a time
Often the hardest part of the holidays is the anticipation. As early as November you might start to think about all the relatives and friends who have to be visited, all the social events you will be expected to attend, even if you don’t feel like it, and all the potential there is for family arguments. If you suffer from depression, this stress can exacerbate your symptoms and make you feel much worse. But you don’t have to let this happen. By using techniques like mindfulness, which will help you to live one moment at a time, and techniques that you have learned from your therapist by engaging in therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, you can take control of your symptoms – and the holiday season!
Have a good time – but don’t fret if you don’t!
Try to enjoy the holiday season as much as you can, but if you find yourself getting anxious and depressed, don’t let that become an additional stick to beat yourself with. It’s OK if it all seems to be too much at times.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If your symptoms of depression tend to get worse during the holidays, or during the run-up to the holidays, know that you are not alone. Many people find that the holiday season can be a particularly demanding time. In this context, seeking out professional help before your depression threatens to take over is a sign of strength, not weakness. Even if you are not currently seeing anyone about your depression, if you feel that the holidays represent a challenge or an obstacle, consider seeing a professional who can help you to work through your feelings and come up with a tangible approach to manage the problem. Actually, reaching out for help when you know you need it is therapeutic in itself and a fantastic start!
If you would like to talk to someone about dealing with depression during the holidays, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: +442038872866 or book online by clicking below.