The holidays aren’t always jolly and joyful. From financial challenges and unwanted guests to managing grief, combating loneliness and juggling a busier-than-ever schedule, the holidays oftentimes trigger depression and anxiety—especially in those already prone to these mental disorders. People suffering from severe depression are—not surprisingly—at a higher risk for suicide attempts and drug and alcohol abuse during the holidays, and finding the time for self care amidst the other responsibilities of the season can be complicated.

So how do we prevent and treat depression and anxiety during the holiday season? 

How to Deal with Depression During the Holidays

Make Sure Self Care, Sleep & Exercise Find Their Way Into Your Schedule

Consumed with baking and shopping, entertaining and being social, we oftentimes forget to make time for ourselves during the holiday season. Don’t let self care, sleep and exercise fall to the wayside. Remember, 30-minutes of exercise is as effective as taking an antidepressant. Exercise outside—take a walk, go for a jog, do some trail walking—and get the added benefit of sunlight!

Save the Drama

Every family has its share of drama, but the holidays aren’t the time to engage. Prepare a standard response—try, ’Let’s talk about this some other time—and excuse yourself from conversations that will most likely lead to conflict or drama.

Perfection is an Unrealistic Ideal

Forget about any preconceived notions of a perfect holiday season. Unless you’re Martha Stewart, your decorations don’t need to be award-winning, your pies don’t need to be all organic and gluten-free, not everyone needs that one perfect gift. Your mental health and wellbeing is more important than these things. Remember the true meaning of the holiday season, do your best, and don’t beat yourself up for dropping the ball on sending out those holiday cards this year…

Get Support & Ask For Help

The holidays can be especially difficult for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Fortunately, there are support groups for almost any situation imaginable. Visit Mental Health America to find a support group that meets your unique needs.

Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for help, either. They can offer support & encouragement when no one else can.

Don’t Forget About Dining & Drinking…

Overindulging in food and alcohol usually results in feelings of guilt and shame, which can exacerbate depressive symptoms. Allow yourself to enjoy the delicacies of the holiday season—in moderation. To prevent yourself from gouging on sugary treats and adult beverages, prepare healthy snacks in advance of social outings. 

It’s Okay to Say No

When the holidays become a source of unmanageable stress, it’s okay to just say no. Maybe instead of spending the day with an intense extended family, you and your immediate family can head out on a mini-vacation. Volunteering is another great way to get out of your own head during the holidays. Remember to take care of yourself first—only committee to those things that you are confident you can handle, both mentally and physically.

Contact Ascend Ketamine

If your depression or anxiety skyrockets during the holiday season, you might consider ketamine infusions as a way to treat your symptoms. Ketamine infusions effectively improve depression, anxiety ad other psychiatric disorders—oftentimes within hours. While ketamine treatments are proven to treat chronic and long-term, treatment-resistant forms of depression, they are also highly effective for acute and seasonal manifestations of depression. To learn more about ketamine infusions and how they may be able to help you get through the holiday season, complete the brief form below. We’ll contact you to schedule a free consultation. Happy holidays!