Saturday, January 16th, 2021

How to cope with holiday depression

Posted: Friday, December 11, 2020

Our traditions are being challenged this year, many families are suffering loss or struggling to put food on the table and family gatherings are being discouraged.

A National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) study showed that 64% of people with mental illness admitted that the holidays make their conditions worse, and this year some individuals may be experiencing emotional health challenges for the first time due to the effects COVID-19 has had on their social, physical and/or financial health.

How can people cope with the stress and depression they may be feeling? There are a wide range of options that can help someone cope with their emotions this holiday season and the physical effects they may cause.

Make time for yourself by maintaining healthy habits: eat right and exercise. Spend time with people who care about you. Virtual is a great option to avoid isolation. Stay in tune with your moods; its okay if you don’t feel like celebrating. Create a realistic budget and stick to it if finances are a concern. Help others. Spending time with those in need can help you feel less isolated. Alcohol often will make depression worse. Avoid drinking alcohol to ward off negative feelings. Stay active. Try to appreciate the good things you have now instead of focusing on the past.

This holiday season, use the coping mechanisms you know you can rely on that give you joy; go for a long walk, listen to your favorite music or read a new book. All of us need some time to recharge. Be mindful and focus on the present.

The Bowen Center offers individualized, confidential treatment with tele-health and in-person options. For more information or to schedule an appointment call (800) 342-5653 or visit www.bowencenter.org.