The holiday season is a stressful time for many. Add a pandemic to the mix and our nation is experiencing more loneliness, stress and economic strain than ever before. While we all have our own struggles, many people experience heightened anxiety and depression during the holidays. Recognizing these feelings is the first step in getting the help you need and deserve.
Depression and/or anxiety can be overwhelming and rob someone’s energy, motivation, and ability to concentrate. It often impairs someone’s sleep, appetite, sex drive, and even the will to live. Like many health conditions, depression and anxiety do not discriminate and affect people of all ages, socioeconomic class, and race. While professional counseling has been proven the most effective course of treatment for depression and anxiety, there are ways during this busy holiday season you can further help yourself in addition to seeking professional help.
What you can do:
- Vitamin D. If you live in an area where sun in the winter is rare, you may experience a low level of vitamin D. Talk to your doctor about your options!
- Eat healthy. Yes, we know it’s the holidays and treats are everywhere! However, make sure you have a good balance of eating healthy and allowing yourself to indulge in some sweets!
- Stick to your routine. Don’t skip on self-care or cancel doctors, counseling or support group appointments. During stressful and busy times, these are more important than ever.
- Exercise. Moving your body is very important for your mental and physical well-being. Even just going on a 30-minute walk can help clear your mind.
- Gratitude. While expressing gratitude is easier said than done, Emma Montague, LMHC and Advanced Practice Clinician says, “This is a time when it’s really easy to experience negative thinking. And focusing on what we can be grateful for is really important. It’s an evidence-based practice in the treatment of many health problems.”
- Get your zzz’s. Exhaustion can put you at risk for holiday triggers. Aim for at least seven to eight hours each night, allowing your mind and body to fully rest.
- Do what makes you comfortable. You may feel pressure from family or friends to get together during the holidays. If you don’t feel comfortable or don’t feel well, remember staying home is not rude or selfish. It’s a way to protect your loved ones.
We know everyone’s struggles and stories are different. Let our compassionate and educated team help you this holiday season and beyond in getting you back to your best and healthiest life. We offer tele counseling, allowing you to connect with a counselor from the comfort and safety of your home. If you or a loved one is struggling from depression, anxiety or another mental health disorder, please give us a call at 716.831.1800 to learn more. We can help.