3 Ways To Navigate Depression And Anxiety Through The Holidays

I’ve described my depression as “a tidal wave of self-doubt and confusion” hitting you at a random moment you didn’t expect it to. 

It’s especially worse when that depression hits you during the holidays. 

If you’re lucky enough not to suffer from anxiety and depression, the APA describes anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” The American Psychiatric Association explains that depression, “causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.”

As someone who suffers from both, I can say that for me they don’t necessarily hit at the same time but rather attack me separately. 

The holidays can be rough for a number of reasons. Regardless of how you feel about your friends and family (and how comfortable you are being in the same room with all of them at once), the holidays are a really stimulating time and it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed. 

If you’re depressed or anxious during the holidays, it’s not the end of the world. Both can sneak up on you when you least expect it.

Here are a few ways to navigate them if they surprise you at that family dinner.

  • Take breaks: I’m not talking about totally isolating yourself, but it’s okay to step outside for five minutes if you just need a break from the action. Text someone about what’s going on if you need to, and I’m sure they’ll be happy to check on you too.
  • Celebrate the small wins: Did you shower? GREAT! Did you put on an outfit that you feel amazing in? WONDERFUL! You’re already ahead of the game because you got through the hardest part about these celebrations… getting started.
  • Remember you’re loved: Think about why you got an invitation to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner in the first place… someone somewhere loves and appreciates you. They just want you around. You don’t need to be perfect to attend the event, just being there means so much to the host.

Did you find these tips helpful? What would you add to the list?

As always, when you think no one is there, remember that someone is. Please reach out here if it’s an emergency. 

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