“The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” by Andy Williams became the biggest Christmas single in history. We quote this song to this day, as Christmas is exactly what the song describes: full of cheer. Yet, not everyone feels this much joy during the holidays.
In fact, approximately 4-6% of the population experiences holiday depression and 10-20% of the people suffer seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The feelings of loneliness, anxiety, stress, and lack of motivation are common and can be overwhelming to deal with, especially during the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.
If you’ve been feeling especially down during this time of the year, keep reading, as we’ve provided some effective coping skills for depression.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Before jumping into the topic, you want to make sure that what you’re feeling is an actual depression or SAD instead of the typical blues. Some of the symptoms include:
- Feeling depressed or overwhelmed throughout the day, every day
- Not being able to focus, even on minor tasks
- Changes in your sleeping routine, such as oversleeping or not being able to sleep enough
- Drastic changes in your eating habits, especially if you eat more sweets
- Not finding pleasure in the activities you once enjoyed
- Overwhelming feelings of guilt
Symptoms of Pandemic Fatigue
Perhaps you’re not showing signs of SAD or holiday depression, but you still don’t feel like yourself. Coping with pandemic stress has been a tough one for all of us, and there is also a possibility that you may be experiencing what people call pandemic fatigue.
- Not caring about wearing your face mask
- Not wanting to respect social distancing
- Feeling exhausted despite getting enough rest
- Irritable or anxious all the time
- Difficulty concentrating on things
- Eating more or less than normal
If you think you’ve been facing some of these symptoms and they keep getting worse, you’ll find the following tips helpful.
Stick to Traditions, Despite the Circumstances
The worldwide pandemic has gotten in the way of many people’s lives, perhaps preventing them from fulfilling their favorite traditions with their families.
If that’s so, don’t focus on the things you no longer can do but rather on the things you can do. Continue to stick with these traditions and enjoy them with your family.
Look After Yourself
When a friend of yours is depressed, you want to cheer them up as much as possible, right? Well, if you feel that Christmas depression, take some time to do things for yourself.
Watch your favorite movie, read your favorite book, treat yourself to your favorite meal, etc. Despite feeling rushed and stress due to all the errands you have to run, taking time for yourself should be a top priority on your errands list.
Start New Traditions
Perhaps the traditions you once to enjoy are no longer possible to do, for now.
Until things get back to normal, make the most of the holidays during the pandemic by starting some new, exciting traditions for you and your family. It’ll be fun and uplifting for both you and your family.
Don’t Stop Exercising
Holiday seasons tend to be the time where people kind of slack off and put off their training at the gym.
However, exercise is crucial to battling anxiety and depression. Don’t sacrifice your training just because you feel like “you don’t have time” and stick to your workouts, even if you have to cut them a little short.
Planning Ahead Helps
Things will get insanely busy during the Christmas season, and procrastinating with any tasks or plans you have will contribute to your stress, which will then worsen your depression. Be sure to plan ahead so that you can structure your days and effectively cope with holiday stress, as well as avoid unnecessary problems.
Volunteering for local shelters is very popular during the holiday season. Many opportunities open up for people to offer help for the less fortunate.
Giving back not only helps others, but it’ll give you a sense of accomplishment and will definitely uplift your spirits.
Talk It Out
You might be embarrassed to open up to someone about the way you’ve been feeling. However, bottling up your emotions will increase the levels of seasonal depression.
Call a close friend of yours or relative and express yourself, and perhaps your friend could comfort you or provide some useful advice.
Writing Helps Holiday Depression
Journaling your feelings may sound childish for some, but really, it’s been proven to a great way to channel your negative feelings. It helps you vent or understand yourself a lot better. It’ll give you a sense of relief.
Stick to Your Schedule
During this time of the year, it might be hard to stick to your typical, day-to-day routine, such as exercising in the morning, following your skin-care routine, or even doing your laundry. Yet, making sure to complete your regular tasks despite the holidays will give you a sense of stability, which in turn, helps your feelings of depression.
Be Honest With Yourself
The first step in mental health improvement is by being honest with yourself and recognizing that you are suffering from depression. Analyze yourself and acknowledge your feelings. It’ll bring you one step closer to getting your emotions back on track.
Depending on the situation and how severe your symptoms are, perhaps contacting a professional is the best choice. They will know how to evaluate your holiday depression and perhaps even prescribe the right medication for you. If you’ve been contemplating thoughts of death or suicide, then contact a doctor right away. Contact us today and we can offer you professional help to help you manage your seasonal affective disorder or pandemic fatigue. We provide various therapies that will no doubt help you cope during these difficult times.