The holiday season is usually associated with a joyous time of year. However, for some of us, the holidays can cause us to feel a full range of emotions, and mental illness including depression. In some cases, people who have been clinically diagnosed with depression or seasonal affective disorder can find the holiday season so stressful that it causes their depression symptoms to worsen. Fortunately, managing depression during the holidays is possible using these excellent tips.
#1. If you are in treatment, do not skip treatment during the holidays.
The biggest mistake someone can make is not continuing with their mental health treatment sessions for their depression. So, no matter how busy you might feel, remember to take the time to see your psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor. Maintenance sessions can provide a safe space for you to work through holiday stress and potentially triggering events, days, or even family members.
#2. It is okay to limit your holiday activities.
If you know that attempting to attend every event, gathering, and get-together will cause you unwanted stress, do not do it. Instead, pick and choose a few holiday events you want to attend and politely decline the others.
#3. Simplify your holiday decorating.
You do not have to “deck the halls” literally and decorate every room in the home. Instead, focus on a few of your favorite holiday decorations that put a smile on your face. Plus, don’t forget, the more you decorate, the more you will have to take down after the holidays, which could increase your stress levels and depressive symptoms.
#4. Remember to eat healthy and well-balanced meals.
There is a growing body of evidence that shows that our guts are our second brains. Certainly, what we eat can impact our moods. The holidays can be a time to allow yourself some “cheat days,” which is acceptable. However, make sure to get plenty of healthy, well-balanced foods to ensure you are getting the nutrition your body and mind need.
#5. Do not put off your exercise routines.
It is easy to want to put off exercising during the holidays simply because you feel like you have so much to do. However, when you exercise, the body releases various natural chemicals that can help alleviate depressive symptoms.
#6. Set realistic goals and expectations.
It can be easy to set unattainable goals and expectations for yourself during the holidays. However, doing so will only cause you unwanted stress and anxiety. Instead, it is better to think about what is attainable and what is not and then set your goals and expectations. It’s OK to go small and manageable to avoid the holiday blues.
#7. Have patience with yourself.
No one said you had to feel happy and joyous every day during the holiday season. It is normal to feel different from one day to the next. For example, you might feel upbeat one day and somewhat down the next. It’s OK to not feel OK sometimes.
#8. Skip drinking alcohol.
Drinking can aggravate mental health conditions and make them worse. Furthermore, if you take medication to manage your depression, alcohol can impede its effectiveness. Instead, stick to non-alcohol beverages and mocktails.
#9. Listen to yourself and monitor your symptoms.
You know yourself and your depressive symptoms better than anyone. So, pay attention to how you are feeling. If you notice your depressive symptoms are starting to surface, use the appropriate coping skills, counseling, and support systems you have in place for managing your depression.
What should I do if my symptoms do not improve?
If you notice the number of your “off days” is increasing, or the severity and intensity of your depressive symptoms are increasing, get the help you need. The worst thing you can do is do nothing when your symptoms are not improving.
Remember, you have several options available to you, including:
- Increase the number of therapy sessions you have with your therapist.
- Cut back on your holiday commitments and plans to alleviate excess stress.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting the dosage of your medication.
- Consider alternative forms of treatment for managing your stress during the holidays, such as TMS, MeRT, PBM, and IV ketamine therapies.
What Is TMS?
TMS therapy is a non-invasive, non-drug, and FDA-approved treatment that targets specific areas of the brain responsible for mood regulation. TMS can help stimulate these areas to improve mood regulation functioning in the brain.
What Is MeRT?
MeRT therapy is also a non-invasive and drug-free treatment for depression that helps analyze one’s brainwave data to deliver related therapies unique to one’s brain wave patterns. Furthermore, MeRT uses TMS as part of the treatment process.
What Is Photobiomodulation (PBM) Therapy?
Photobiomodulation is another non-invasive and drug-free depression treatment that stimulates cells to increase energy levels, improve blood circulation, and cellular functioning. The treatment also helps cells initiate self-repair when they are damaged.
What Is IV Ketamine Therapy?
Ketamine therapy is a drug-based therapy option that helps repair and grow new neuronal interconnectivity to improve and enhance one’s mood. IV ketamine therapy is highly effective at alleviating depressive symptoms. Many people notice improvements after their first treatment.
Help Managing Depression During the Holidays in Los Angeles, CA
Should you notice your depressive symptoms start to increase this holiday season, remember to use one or more of these tips. If your symptoms do not improve, consider getting help and trying one or more of the alternative therapies provided by Neuro Wellness Spa.
You can also combine TMS, MeRT, PBM, and IV ketamine therapies with talk therapies and medication therapy to create a custom mental health treatment plan to help you with managing your depression during the holidays.
For further assistance managing the holidays blues or to learn more about TMS, MeRT, PBM, and IV ketamine therapies, or to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a mental health professional, please feel free to contact us or call us at 1-877-847-3984 today!