Take Control of Holiday Depression: Strategies for Beating the Christmas Blues

Take the edge off holiday stress and sadness with these tips

Credit: dishapaun

Don’t let holiday depression rob you of Christmas joy

Ease the blues this holiday season with these strategies for fending off sadness and stress

For all its beauty, the holiday season is not without its darker side, including short days, crowded stores, exhaustion, loneliness, family tension and pressure to spend.

These factors can have a depressing effect on anyone, but they pose a special risk for people who already suffer from depression. In fact, about 15% of Canadians report persistent feelings of sadness during the winter.

How to Ease Holiday Depression

Make a point of being especially kind to yourself during the holiday season

  • Take time to enjoy the best parts of the holidays. Go for a walk to see the lights, play in the snow, or meet up with friends. Being surrounded by beauty is uplifting.

  • Connect with others by volunteering or getting involved in community events.

  • Take control of your life by pre-planning which events you will attend, what days you will shop, and how much you can spend.

  • Go for a walk every day, and get plenty of sleep.

  • Avoid binging on unhealthy treats, and drink lots of water. 

How to Know if You Suffer from Depression

Typical symptoms of depression include lack of energy, disrupted eating and sleeping patterns, an inability to concentrate, lethargy or fidgetiness, lack of hope, feelings of guilt and an inability to enjoy anything.

Don’t let depression rob you of your enjoyment of life and don’t be embarrassed about asking for help. If sadness has been lingering much too long, see your doctor.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.