The holidays are usually a joyful time to celebrate with family and friends. However, the holiday season can also cause stress and sadness for many people.
Having unrealistic expectations, financial stress, family conflict, anxiety about traveling, and disruptions to routine can leave people feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. People who cannot be with friends or family during the holidays may feel incredibly isolated and lonely. Although anyone can experience them, the holiday blues can compound symptoms for those with pre-existing mental health conditions. If your child or teen has a mental health crisis this holiday season, we are here to help with evidence-based treatment in our partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs.
At Beyond Healthcare, we provide holistic mental health treatment to children, teens, and their families. Our services are flexible and convenient to fit into your busy schedule. You can receive family therapy this holiday season at our center, in the community, in your home, or online. To learn more about our many services, call 833.698.0453 or reach out online.
Common Symptoms of Holiday Depression
The holidays affect everyone differently. While many people enjoy the spirit of the season, others experience depression, become withdrawn, and avoid contact with others. For some people, this is a time of self-evaluation and reflection that focuses on perceived past failures and uncertainty about the future. Common symptoms associated with the holiday blues include:
- Anger or irritability for no reason
- Exhaustion and fatigue, despite sleeping more
- Difficulty making decisions or concentrating
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Avoiding commitments, isolating, or withdrawing from friends and family
- Loss of pleasure in things you previously enjoyed
- Feeling tense, worried, or anxious
Along with feelings of sadness that last from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, these symptoms can indicate that you have the holiday blues. In general, the symptoms of the holiday blues are mild and do not interfere with daily functioning. Suppose your symptoms begin in the fall, last into spring, and disrupt your ability to tend to everyday tasks. In that case, you may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a form of major depressive disorder.
Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Blues
It is easy to convince yourself that you do not have time for therapy during the holidays because you are too busy. However, being busier is the precise reason to maintain scheduled therapy appointments or reach out for extra support if you need it. Through individual, group, or family therapy, you can get help to manage expectations, enhance communication skills, and manage stress, anxiety, or depression.
In addition to therapy, there are several things you can do to help prevent or avoid the holiday blues. Consider these three tips:
Avoid Relying on Drugs or Alcohol to Cope
Alcohol is a principal component of some holiday celebrations. While the occasional drink is not harmful to certain people, depending on drugs or alcohol to numb feelings, manage stress, or cope with demanding situations will only compound feelings of anxiety and depression.
Maintain Your Routine
With so much extra activity, it is easy to fall out of your daily routines regarding exercise, healthy eating, sleep, and self-care. However, maintaining your routine will help you set limits and maintain a sense of control.
Surround Yourself with Positive Support
Lean on friends and family who provide positive support, avoid people and situations that are known triggers, and do not isolate yourself. Utilize available community supports.
Beyond Healthcare Provides Mental Healthcare for Your Child During the Holidays
Beyond Healthcare is an outpatient mental healthcare provider serving children, teens, and families in Toledo, OH. We understand that the holidays can be stressful, and you might need extra support during the holidays. You and your family can connect with our highly skilled, compassionate therapists at our center, in your home, in a community setting, or via telehealth. To learn more about your treatment options, reach out using our secure online form or call us today at 833.698.0453.