While this is the season to be merry and jolly, for many people, it can be stressful and not as merry. The holiday blues, as called by experts, are a type of depression that occurs during the holiday season. Experts believe that like depression, the holiday blues can be avoided or treated, but in order to do that we need to be able to recognize the signs and be prepared to deal with the condition.
Here are some tips and information that psychologists want you to know about the holiday blues:
- SAD and holiday blues are not the same condition: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and the holiday blues are two different conditions. SAD is a mental health disorder that occurs when people do not get exposed to light, which has a psychological and physical effect on a person. Experts say that the holiday blues are similar to short term depression that occurs during the holidays due to excess stress and expectations that can easily affect our mental health.
- Control you expectations to improve your mood: From a young age, we all have a set image of how our holidays should feel and look like. All the movies, TV shows and social media, tend to promote the holiday season in a very jolly and quite luxurious manner. Lacking the ability to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas in the way they are presented can make people feel sad and stressed. Experts advise us to keep our expectations in moderate levels, since we may subconsciously be setting the bar too high.
- Plan ahead and avoid triggers: Planning ahead of time is the best way to avoid any bad mood triggers. If you know that attending a party with relatives that you dislike may make you feel sad or may irritate you, avoid going. Being prepared to deal with possible holiday stress or anxiety may help you avoid the holiday blues.
- Limit the time you spend on social media: Social media is not ideal when it comes to holidays. People fill their social media pages with all kinds of festive things, presents and foods. Those images and posts can possibly trigger a sad or bad mood, which you can choose to avoid.
- Say NO: Many people tend to get overwhelmed during the holidays trying to make others happy. These holidays set a barrier between the things you enjoy doing and the things you do for other people’s pleasure. Remember to take a break when you need it, and choose to do the things you enjoy and that make you feel good!
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