The holidays are supposed to be filled with joy. For many, however, they can cause or worsen depression. Is depression affecting you or someone you know?
Holidays can be hectic and stressful. It is tough to fit all of the shopping, meal planning and visits with relatives into your regular routine. Holiday spending also puts pressure on your wallet. On top of that, losing a job, dealing with health problems or facing eviction or foreclosure can sometimes send people over the edge.
Over 15 million adults in the U.S. face major depression. Some people are affected by a type of depression that is related to the seasons called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It more commonly affects people in late fall and early winter because there is less sunlight.
Signs of Depression
- Having trouble doing daily tasks or concentrating
- Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Having uncontrollable negative thoughts
- Being unusually anxious, irritable and short-tempered
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Feeling exhausted all the time
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or hopelessness
- Having thoughts of suicide
What You Can Do
Don’t let depression crash your holiday party. Depression is treatable. If you think you or a loved one may have the holiday blues, make sure you seek professional help.
If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or have thoughts of suicide, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255 (toll-free).
Here are some additional tips to help you stay healthy and happy into the New Year:
- Limit your spending and create a budget.
- If you’re having problems with your credit and finances, visit the Beehive’s Financial Coach to get help.
- Eat healthy.
- Make time to exercise and stay active.
- Get more sleep. In general, an average of eight hours is recommended.
- Lower your stress level by practicing relaxation techniques or yoga.
- Think positive thoughts and try to have a positive outlook on life.
- Surround yourself with friends and family that are supportive.
- Ask for help with chores and holiday preparations.
- Keep holiday celebrations simple and try to enjoy yourself.
- Make sure you keep a daily routine (sleeping, waking, eating, working, exercising and doing other activities around the same time each day)