How To Deal With Depression During the Holidays

Ashley Lynne

More people are experiencing the mental toll of the pandemic. On top of that, the stress of the holidays is even more daunting.

Congress is still figuring out what to do until a vaccine is approved. However, many people can't wait that long. As unemployment will end by Christmas and Biden hasn't taken office yet. This is the perfect recipe for depression and anxiety.

Many people will be separated from loved ones for the holidays, which exasperates depression. People living in a nursing home or people that live alone will feel more isolated than usual.

What can you do during Christmas to keep the holiday spirits up? Here are a few ideas.

1. Do a conference call with family and friends. Apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Facetime are a great way to connect with people who are far away.

Put on your ugliest sweater, grab some apple cider, and treat it like a virtual Christmas party. The perfect excuse to get dressed up without leaving the house.

2. Learn some Christmas crafts to decorate our home. There are plenty of channels on YouTube and Pinterest with holiday crafts like wreaths, fake snowman, and other cute crafts.

Have a few friends over and bake some cookies while you make snow globes out of mason jars. Or if you have kids, there are fun crafts you can do as a family.

One video I found interesting was 15 High-End Christmas Dollar Tree DIY's. Everything you need to create homemade decorations at the Dollar Tree. Very convenient if you want to entertain yourself without going broke.

3. Think of others. Every Christmas, the homeless shelters are full of people that need some compassion and Christmas cheer. Working at soup kitchens and donating blankets and coats to the Goodwill, can be very rewarding.

Sometimes the best way to ease your depression is to focus on helping others. It can feel good to make another person smile. If you know someone who's spending the holidays alone, a card and a phone call go a long way.

4. Learn a holiday recipe. If you're more of a cook, then this is the best time to learn how to cook a traditional Christmas dish. Whether it's ham or sugar cookies, it's fun to learn new things in the kitchen.

This is also great for kids at home. Any activity that brings the family together can make for great memories. The gingerbread house comes to mind and macaroons are delicious too.

5. Give yourself a Christmas spa day. Nothing like a night of relaxing on Christmas Eve to relieve the stress of 2020. Put on some Christmas music and grab some scented candles to create an atmosphere.

A cup of egg nog or some hot cocoa will add to the holiday vibes. Draw a bath with some holiday scented bath bombs or salts and put on a mask. Afterward, put on some comfy PJs and slippers and watch your favorite Christmas movie.

Now THAT is a very merry Christmas.

6. Buy yourself a gift. It's been a very stressful year. Why not treat yourself with a gift?

Take advantage of all the holiday sales and update your wardrobe. Or a new piece of tech you've always wanted. If you're not able to buy yourself a gift, then just giving yourself permission to relax is also treating yourself.

There's nothing wrong with giving yourself a bit of cheer.

So, that is my list of things you can do to quell depression during the holidays. It's very important to take care of yourself and your mental health during the colder seasons. SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is very common this time of year.

Make sure to reach out to those that may not be able to receive visitors because of COVID-19. Just be a good neighbor and check up on each other. I know that tensions have been high between political parties.

However, I do think that we need to put this "us vs them" mentality aside and realize we are all in the same boat. And yelling at each other on the internet isn't going to change anything. True change starts with looking within and making improvements to better yourself.

Everything is so divided. But if we approach our situation with openness and understanding, instead of our ego's need to be right all the time, then it will become apparent that we're all angry about the same things.

Use this time to really reflect on what it means to be a decent human being. To have empathy for those who are different from you and to celebrate those differences. Christmas is a time for unity and peace among all humanity.

Wouldn't it be nice we treated each other with kindness instead of projecting our pain onto each other?

Just something to think about. Happy Holidays. #nbholidaycheer

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A writer, artist, and spiritualist just making a way for myself.

Atlanta, GA

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