The holidays are usually viewed as the most wonderful time of the year, but that doesn’t feel true for everyone. December can also be a time of painful reflection, sadness, and loneliness. Even people who love the holidays can experience the blues as they’re missing loved ones, navigating family dynamics, or spreading themselves too thin.
In addition to talking to your doctor or a mental health professional, there are a number of things that you can do on your own to make the holidays easier to deal with.
Drink in Moderation
Alcohol is a depressant, so drinking in excess can exacerbate negative feelings. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a spiked hot chocolate every now and again, but limit your consumption and avoid using alcohol as a way to deal with difficult situations or emotions.
Become Comfortable With Saying No
From balancing personal and work obligations to gift-giving, we tend to put especially high demands on ourselves during the holiday season, which usually results in feelings of failure. It’s important to be realistic about what you can actually accomplish and to recognize your limits. “No” is a complete sentence, and if something is going to put a strain on your mental health or budget, you are well within your rights to respectfully decline.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
Social isolation can be a major risk factor for depression. The problem is that sadness often makes you want to hide by yourself at home. If you are on your own apart from family for the holidays, finding support from friends or a mental health professional can be even more critical.
Make Time for Yourself
The holiday hustle and bustle can leave up feeling overworked, overcommitted, emotionally drained, and sleep-deprived. We tend to pack it all in during the holidays, leaving us coasting on fumes into the new year. It’s important to practice self-care on a daily basis and to set clear boundaries surrounding work and social events.
No matter what you’re navigating this holiday season, our team of licensed therapists at Jamison Consultants Integrated Healthcare Services is here to help. Our licensed therapists and counselors are equipped to care for patients with a variety of mental health diagnoses during individual, group, or family therapy, school-based counseling, or crisis management sessions. Learn more about our behavioral health services here.