While the holidays are usually a time for family gatherings and joyful celebrations, for many of us, they become sources of depression and sadness. Seeing family and friends can trigger certain traumas or memories for us that can throw us into a downward spiral.

According to UC Davis Health*, commonly caused reasons of holiday depression are:

Time Change

Increased Alcohol Use

Overeating

Lack of Sleep

Over-scheduling

Lack of Planning

Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic Fantasies about our Families

Lack of Exercise

Lack of time for Oneself

And More

Whether you or a loved one is prone to holiday depression, we have compiled a list of helpful ways to help you fight off those nasty holiday blues.

Exercise

Exercise is proven to release endorphins leaving your body and mind ultimately happy. Even a brisk 30 minute walk can release brain chemicals leaving you feeling much more relaxed. Whether it’s a yoga session, a quick jog around the block or a heavy lifting session, anything that helps get your body moving will be of benefit.

Talk to Someone

Therapy comes in many forms. Whether you are seeing a licensed therapist or talking to a friend, it’s important to stay open in order to avoid shutting down. Schedule daily, bi-weekly or weekly phone calls or appointments with someone who knows you and what you are going through this time of year.

Keeping Alcohol to a Minimal

Alcohol seems to be such a normal part of the holidays. However, it is a depressant, and too much of it can lead to tough times. Know your limits and stick to them. If one drink has you wanting more, maybe consider choosing “mocktails” instead. If you can handle a couple of drinks, but you know more than that will make you feel rough in the morning, then stop after a couple.

Taking Time for Yourself

Taking time for yourself is one of the most important factors of living a healthy life, not just during the holidays, but year round. Holidays are filled with distant relatives asking triggering questions, and requires a constant output of happy energy. This season, make sure you schedule some downtime for yourself before overcommitting to others.

Whether you or a loved one struggles with holiday depression, make sure you take the time out to check up on yourself or a friend. And if you or someone you know has gotten into legal troubles this holiday season, give us a call. We can help. #PlayHardPlaySafe

*https://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/welcome/features/20081217_holiday_blues/