Dealing with Depression Over the Holidays – Information from A Therapist In Long Beach

If you have been dealing with depression for an extended period of time, you have probably become well aware of the triggers that can send you into a downward spiral. While the holidays are considered by many to be the happiest time of the year, for those dealing with depression, it can be a couple of months that seem to have triggers on the calendar every single day. We all want things to be perfect at the holidays, but we are dealing with timelines, financial stress, and a host of other issues that can make things very rough indeed.
No matter what your religion is, the moment you see the Christmas decorations go up in your local superstore, do what they are doing, and get prepared early for the holiday you celebrate. If you want to avoid a blue holiday, start by making your expectations for what it’s going to be something that is realistic. TV shows and movies always make it seem as though things should be perfect, but they seldom go that way. Set holiday goals that you know you can achieve, or perhaps even exceed, and take some of the stress off yourself by doing so.
A big part of this management of expectations is making sure that you are in control of your finances. Yes, it looks wonderful to have all kinds of beautifully wrapped presents under the tree, but for people suffering from depression and anxiety, looking at those gifts can make them remember how much everything costs. You then start to realize that getting out of that financial hole is going to be tough, and before you know it, you are awake at night and beating yourself up for being so careless.
Understand, too, that even if you have properly managed your finances and expectations, there are going to be times when you still feel the blues coming on. Perhaps you lost a loved one at that time of year, or have some other event that triggers your depression during the holidays. For many people, it’s a time of year that they would expect to see their family. If you have lost a loved one, the holidays can be a huge reminder that your loved one is not around.
Acknowledge your feelings, and don’t go through the process on your own. Have a spouse, a family member, or a trusted friend help you through this period by making them aware of your feelings. People who suffer from depression spend altogether too much time trying to suppress those feelings. Acknowledge them, and let them out. You will feel better for it. If you don’t think you have someone you can depend on in this way, reach out to a therapist. Therapists are trained in how to help you through these difficult times.
The days and weeks leading up to the holidays tend to be very busy indeed, as you are caught up in the planning of your holiday event, but still also have to deal with your work and family responsibilities on top of that. Take some time during this period to do something for yourself. Make it something that is relaxing, or which puts you at ease. Your mental health is much more important than wrapping presents or shopping for the perfect turkey, so be sure to step outside the madness for a few hours to do something that gives you peace.

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