Holidays are typically known to bring happiness! But many are often overwhelmed by both internal and external stressors that the season brings. These are the added responsibilities that the festivities come with. A 2015 survey once found that 44% of people say that they are ‘somewhat’ stressed while another 18% reported that they are ‘very’ stressed during this time of the year.
The main reasons were the pressure of:
- spending money on parties
- choosing appropriate gifts for all
- coordinating and organizing events
- trying to eat right and healthy.
The brain’s prefrontal cortex enters a state of overdrive during the holidays that may decrease memory and cause the present cells to die. Your shoulders could tense up at the mere thought of the upcoming hustle and bustle. For instance, spending the whole day with your extended family can be quite taxing. The good news is that holiday blues are temporary. Yet look at a few ways to cope with this feeling in a structured and result-oriented way.
Why Does Holiday Depression Occur?
Studies found that 64% of people with an existing mental illness report that holidays worsen their condition. This happens since the ‘busy season’ is high on demands and emotions. Unrealistic expectations, isolation and loneliness, and excess alcohol usage are top drivers of sadness, fatigue, and sadness. The typical symptoms are changes in sleep patterns, being more tired than usual, and losing pleasure in doing things you would otherwise enjoy.
The condition generally sets around November and December and ends shortly after the new year is over. Wondering when to consult a mental health professional? Get an appointment if the above-discussed symptoms last even after the holidays are over.
How to Deal with Holiday Depression?
No medications are prescribed unless the depression is severe or pervasive. Good therapy is able to design behavior therapy in the form of specific protocols along with techniques of relapse prevention. EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy can also be your treatment of choice. The counselor will target the symptoms and offer ‘insight therapy’ to help figure out the root cause of the problem.
Chronic stress can cause mood turbulence which are linked to medical conditions like diabetes, coronary problems, and gastrointestinal conditions. But physiotherapists incorporate mindfulness approaches, meditation training, and relaxation methods to help you regulate your emotions. You may also be suggested Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to train the mind to control the stress response. Anyone suffering from holiday misery may experience stress resiliency soon which is quite a holistic way to soothe both emotional and physical complexities.
Get plenty of sleep, limit alcohol usage, try out new traditions that you will truly rejoice in, and avoid overeating. Spend time with the ones you love instead of pressurized socialization. All of these can go a long way to impact your mood positively. Practice lots of self-care like a proper exercise program or a spa session at home. Doing these can reduce the holiday woes to a great extent.