How Can You Cope with Holiday Depression?

Depression is a serious problem year-round, but the holiday season can throw it into sharp relief. When it seems like everyone around you is filled with holiday cheer, feeling sad or worthless can be even more difficult to cope with. The holidays can be especially burdensome after a diagnosis of a major illness or a death in the family. However, depression is a treatable disorder and every patient with depression deserves to have a better quality of life. Consider speaking with your physician about your challenges. And in the event that you experience suicidal thoughts or actions, the emergency room at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is always open.

Design a Reasonable Schedule
The stress of the holidays can worsen depressive symptoms and one leading reason for holiday stress is a busy schedule. Don’t be shy about declining invitations; there’s no need to offer an excuse. If you have trouble handling crowds and traffic, consider doing all of your holiday shopping online this year. And don’t forget to schedule some unstructured “you” time every day to let yourself relax and unwind.

Avoid Striving for Perfection
It can be hard to reconcile the image you might have in your mind of the perfect holiday with the reality of what actually happens. There is no need to strive for perfection. Try to give yourself some perspective. Would the world end if you forget to pick up a wreath for the front door or if you have dusty bookshelves when company arrives?

Avoid Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is a depressant. It may be tempting to soothe your frayed nerves with some spiked eggnog, but it won’t really support your mental health. Instead of self-medicating with alcohol, step outside for some fresh air or pet a furry friend when you feel overwhelmed.

Seek Medical Care
Making these changes can help you cope more effectively, but depression is a mental health disorder that often requires medical care. If you haven’t yet sought help for your depression, consider making this your priority this holiday season. You can rest assured that your doctor will respond to your concerns with compassion and without judgment. There are many effective treatments available to you.

High-quality emergency room care is just part of what we do here at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. Our hospital offers renowned care for cardiology, surgery, orthopedic, and bariatric patients. Call a registered nurse at (877) 888-5746 if you would like general information about our hospital services.

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