10 ways to cope with depression during the holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? For most people, the holiday season is a joyous time of year. However, for some of us, depression steals away our holiday joy. If you battle depression, here are 10 ways that you can still make the most of the holiday season.

  1. Spend time with friends and family.
    Surrounding yourself with loved ones can help you break the winter blues. Your support system can provide love, encouragement, and even laughs. Quality time with loved ones is part of what makes the holidays such a happy time, so don’t skip out on family and friend time, even if your depression tells you to isolate.
  2. Volunteer in your community.
    Whether you enjoy talking with older people or playing with animals, there are numerous ways that you can use your talents to help your community. When we give back to our communities, we not only feel better about ourselves, but we feel the high of helping others, too. Studies also show that volunteer work helps combat depression, so get out there and volunteer!
  3. Listen to your favorite music.
    When all else fails, listening to music is sometimes the best medicine for depression. You can blast your favorite Christmas albums or even your favorite non-seasonal playlist. Either way, music can help get you through the holiday season with a smile on your face and a little less sadness in your heart.
  4. Write down your emotions in a journal.
    Sometimes it’s really hard to express our feelings. If you’re having trouble finding the words for your emotions, try writing in a journal. You might be surprised what thoughts come out when you put pen to paper. Also, journaling releases your emotions in a healthy way.
  5. Lean on your support system.
    When you’re feeling extra-low, reach out to members of your support system. You just might find that the people you love might be experiencing the same feelings. When you vent to them, you can work through your feelings together
  6. Take some time for self-care.
    Sometimes we all just need to step away from reality and put our physical and emotional needs first. If you battle depression, taking care of your needs even more important, but so many of us who live with mental illness neglect ourselves. Take a bubble bath, go for a hike, or just enjoy a cup of cocoa without your phone. Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s necessary.
  7. Get out of the house.
    Isolating yourself at home often makes you feel more depressed, so try going out somewhere fun to battle those winter blues. Not sure where to go? Try exploring a brand-new spot or visit a familiar place that brings you happy memories.
  8. Reconnect with people you’ve lost touch with.
    Sometimes when you’re dealing with depression, you lose touch with people. Therefore, it’s important to use the holidays as an opportunity to reconnect and fight your low feelings. When you reconnect with people, you’ll feel a lot better, especially around the holidays.
  9. Redecorate your surroundings.
    Did you know that your surrounds could trigger your depression? Your depression could be a reaction to a cluttered living space or objects that bring up painful memories. When you redecorate your home, you’ll not only feel accomplished, but you may also clear out those triggering items, too.
  10. Seek professional help.
    There’s nothing wrong with seeking professional help for your depression. If you still don’t feel like your usual self after you’ve tried everything else, sometimes professional intervention can change the game.
    Battling depression can feel especially difficult during the holiday season. While these tips may help you beat the winter blues, you also know that you are not alone. We all experience highs and lows in our lives, and honestly, that’s OK. Just remember that your support system loves you and is here to support you along the way.

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