The holidays are a time for joy, inspiration, and connection with loved ones.
However, for some people, the holiday season, (specifically the months of November and December) can also bring sadness and self-reflection.
Holiday depression is typically temporary and tends to pass naturally. That said, when left unaddressed, it may worsen and eventually, cause severe anxiety and major depression.
Please note that the holiday blues are separate from clinical depression and seasonal affective disorder.
Symptoms Of Holiday Blues
1. Stress and anxiety2. Persistent low mood3. Fatigue and exhaustion4. Lack of motivation or energy5. Isolation and loneliness6. Frustration or irritability7. Changes in appetite, weight, and sleep
8. Hopelessness or helplessness9. Guilt or feelings of worthlessness10. Trouble concentrating11. Inability to enjoy pleasure activities12. A sense of loss or grief13. Lethargy or laziness
1. Unrealistic expectation2. Rumination and reflection3. Isolation4. Financial stress
Causes Of Holiday Depression
1. Excessive drinking2. Over-eating3. Lack of sleep4. Fatigue5. Family obligation6. Traveling
Other reasons for the holiday blues may include:
There is no specific treatment for holiday blues as it is not identified as a mental illness by doctors. However, if a person is suffering from clinical depression or seasonal affective disorder, then a doctor may prescribe antidepressants and/or recommend psychotherapy interventions.
Treating Holiday Depression
1. Limit alcohol intake2. Avoid self-isolation3. Be assertive and don’t hesitate to say ‘No’4. Set realistic expectation5. Make time for yourself6. Get physically active and exercise regularly7. Don’t depend on substances for relief
How To Deal With Holiday Blues
8. Build a healthy lifestyle, like eating nutritious food and getting enough sleep9. Avoid overeating10. Prepare for the holidays well in advance11. Acknowledge and accept your emotion12. Seek help from family and friends when mourning a deceased loved one13. Consult a therapist