The Addictions Coach: Depression and the Holidays

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Depression and the Holidays

So here we are. It’s that time of year again. The holidays are right around the corner. The most wonderful time of the year right? For some, yes, for others, not so much.

This is the time of year when depression is at an all-time high. Even people who think they are content or happy in life, seem to be stricken with depression. But why is that? What is it about this time of year that makes people feel depressed?

Well there are a majority of factors, one of which is setting up unrealistic expectations of a perfect holiday season. A lot of people get the pre-conceived notion of the perfect family, sitting around the fire and Christmas tree, opening gifts and laughing, all while snow falls peacefully outside, vision in their head. And with all the social media, TV, and shopping adds further reinforcing that, I think when those expectations fall short, we become unhappy or feel that we have failed.

Another factor is trying to do too much, in a short amount of time. The holidays are an extremely hectic time of year. Work parties, traveling, Christmas shopping and all the stresses that come along with that, and trying to plan holiday events. All these things can begin to weigh heavily on people, thus dragging them down.

Now along with trying to do too much, comes not taking care of yourself. Sometimes people get too involved in all the preparations, shopping, and parties, that they simply forget to take care of themselves. Not eating right, over indulging in alcohol, not getting proper sleep, and stress, all help in people feeling depressed.

One more contributing factor is an un-healthy family life, or the remembrance of a personal loss.

Sometimes, none of that is the cause, and feeling depressed can occur just by a simple change of the season. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. This disorder is most commonly associated with “the winter blues”, and it afflicts about 5% of Americans, according to The Mayo Clinic.

So what are some things you can do to help combat the stresses of the holidays and prevent the holiday blues? It’s very simple. Don’t take on more than you can handle, either in your work or personal life. Continue to eat right and exercise. Try not to over indulge in alcohol, and lastly, get plenty of rest.

The better you take care of yourself, the better you can take care of your friends and family over the holidays.

Call The Addictions Coach at 1.800.706.0318 and talk to the team about the symptoms of SAD and depression.  We are here to help you.