Beating Depression During the Holidays

Christmas is just a few short days away.  While many adults and children wait with excitement for the big day to come, many are not too thrilled with this time of year.  Admittedly this time of year can be very tough with people who suffer from depression.   Even if you don’t have depression it can be a tough time of year.

Think about it, you’ve got long lines at the post office, packed shopping malls with traffic jams everywhere.  Then you’ve got the whole family side of things.  Maybe you don’t get along with your family, or perhaps you’ve lost a loved on recently and this time of year causes you to miss them even more.  Then there’s the part about the year coming to an end and looking back on missed opportunities or failed goals, etc.  Let’s face it, it’s not the easiest time of year to get through.  Oh, and I forgot, It’s cold dark and the shortest day of the year is 4 days before Christmas.  Shheewww, I’m getting a little depressed writing all of this.

O.k. let’s talk for a second about some things we can do, do lessen the effects of depression during this time of year.

1. Get outside and move around.  This time of year we are often cooped up inside all day and night.  Bundle up and go for a brisk walk.   This will make you feel better.

2. Cut back on the alcohol.  This time of year brings many parties with a lot of chances to drink.  It’s o.k. to have some (as long as it doesn’t hinder medication you are taking), but don’t over do it.  Alcohol can often make little emotional things seem bigger than they are.

3. Try to cut back on all the junk food.  Christmas cookies, fruit cake, chocolate, etc.  We’ve all been there.  It’s easy to tell ourselves that it’s only one time a year and it’s o.k. to indulge.  Try to keep some balance with the junk food and squeeze in some fruit and veggies.

4. Give yourself a break.  You work hard all year-long.  Try to schedule some time off from work this time of year.  Spending time with loved ones or friends can make you feel better.

5. Give thanks.  Instead of thinking about all the things you could’ve done better or all the things you didn’t do this year, take some time to give thanks for where you are, what you have, and for being alive.  It’s not always as bad as it seems in your mind.

These are some real easy to follow tips that can make a difference on your holiday season.

Everyone have a Merry Christmas!

Dr. K Bennett