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How to cope with depression during the holidays

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With spiked eggnog, TV holiday movies, joyously exciting inflatable snowmen, and cheerful AF storefronts, the time from Thanksgiving is up But (#truthtime), between family tensions, all the inevitable small talk, gift (and money) stress and the pressure to be happy, may also be less than happy with the Christmas season. RealTalk during the holidays)

The holidays can be stressful for everyone, but they can be especially effective for people with depression. "It's very common for people ̵

1; even if not clinically diagnosed with depression – to experience holiday blue," says Kathryn Smerling, a New York City-based therapist. (See: Did You Know There Are 4 Different Types of Depression?

However, the holidays do not have to lead you into a downward spiral. Below are seven expert tips for dealing with depression during the holidays – and how you can actually enjoy this season.

Make a plan. [19659007PlaninadvancetolimittriggersuncomfortablesituationsandthetimeyouneedtospendwithtoxicpeoplesuggestsKryssShaneLMSW therapist, social worker, and LGBT + expert. "It's true important to make efforts to create memories with loved ones, but it is also important to pay attention to your own need for self-care. "

Consider what you think about these Energy costs, which conversations you do not want and who you want (and do not want). If you're going home on vacation, Shane recommends sharing this information with your family so you can work together to develop a plan.

Even if you're not attached to families, "try not to isolate yourself this season," says relationship therapist Stefani Goerlich, L.M.S.W. Plan activities to do something with people you enjoy doing, or consider volunteering. "Often, doing something to serve others – even if it's easy to load Meals On Wheels into the truck for someone else to deliver it – can give us that sense of connection and satisfaction that makes us never feel alone at home could, "she says. (See also: These inspirational health and fitness charities change the world.)

One caveat: If you're planning your schedule, do not overbook. Trying to do everything – seeing every person you've graduated from high school with, getting a present for your cousins' cousins, going to all the holiday celebrations, meeting any deadline – is enough for everyone to exhaust. "Celebrating is fun, but no pruning is worth your mental health or emotional stability," says Shane. (See: How to Find Self-Care Time if You Have None)

Create a support system.

All three experts recommend that you tell people that you are spending the holidays that you are struggling with your mind health. "Talking to someone and dealing with these feelings can be a great advantage for successful navigation during the season," says Goerlich. These people can help you set and maintain boundaries that protect you from getting into situations that make feelings of depression worse.

You may even want to tell them something in writing in advance – so you can choose your words carefully and attract attention. "I have to have the same conversation with every person in your life who you want to tell," says Shane. "If you prefer to tell your loved ones personally, choose a time when things are calm and only the people closest to you are present so everyone can talk freely."

What if you spend the holidays with family members? Who is not usually nice, helpful or supportive? Find out from your non-blood relatives. You may even plan a daily call or FaceTime session with the friends you pick up. (Like: dealing with friends or family members who do not support your healthy habits)

Drop the drinks.

Alcohol is culturally associated with celebrations, so you can easily forget that he actually acts as a sedative body. "Alcohol depresses your central nervous system, causing symptoms such as drowsiness, slower breathing, and memory loss, all of which can increase the feeling of depression you are already experiencing," explains Goerlich. (See also: How to Stop Drinking Alcohol Without Being More Clumsy than the Buddy of Elf ) It also affects you: "Hangxiety" is a real thing that negates these Can sustain feelings the next day

your suggestion? Instead of grabbing a glass of wine, opt for a cocktail of ginger ale with a dash of cherry juice. (Or look at these healthy mocktails, so good that you do not miss the alcohol.)

Turn off the TV.

Shoot any station at any time of the year, and there's probably a movie-quality movie about an avid movie couple or family enjoying the holidays. (A quick scroll through Netflix's holiday selection is proof enough.)

"Many of these seasonal films show happy families gathering without hostility, trauma or resentment," says Goerlich. For those who are already feeling frustrated or alone, the constant barriers of holiday happiness can be the feeling of & # 39; untruth & # 39; strengthen.

Even the commercials on television are filled with images of traditional families and happy couples at this time of year. Why Shane suggests switching off the device, especially if you feel the absence of a traditional family experience or SO

instead replace that Time spent either on the subway outdoors or exercising. "Nature and physical activity have proven to be successful Both have shown to reduce the symptoms of depression," says Smerling. (More: The combination of exercise and meditation can cause depression

Leave the Scroll.

Like Hallmark movies, finding too many people on Instagram makes me feel inappropriate. "Our social feeds create the illusion that everyone else is happy and perfect. We can not know what these people are actually talking about, "says Smerling. (See also: How To Be As Happy As You Look On Instagram) This is one reason why a study published last year found that Instagram is yours Mood is bad.

If giving up your cold turkey cold is not realistic, you can reduce the screen time to see how many of those images that envy and envy you can be helpful (try the following tips as well) Make a digital detox without FOMO.)

Get a present.

The colder weather in winter and less hours of daylight can have a real psychological effect, says Shane, for example, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a kind depression, which often occurs at the end of summer time, when less sunlight is released – which in some people verifies brain chemistry change and can lead to deeper sadness.

If you can not cure Santa Claus to yourself, he can not cure SAD or depression, there are a few gadg to help you deal with your symptoms: "Consider using in headphones with noise canceling too invest in background music while working or shopping Invest in full-spectrum light bulbs (or a light therapy lamp) to offset the effects of early sunsets and long dark nights on our sleep or rest cycles, "Goerlich suggests. Or try a weighted blanket that is touted for its soothing properties.

Try digital therapy.

Everyone can benefit from a therapist, but a psychologist can be especially helpful during the holidays. "Your therapist can help you develop a plan for coping with the problems during the holidays, despite the distance from them," says Shane. Skype and telephone therapy sessions are becoming more common. Therefore, she and Goerlich suggest that you make use of this service that your therapist offers.

If this is not an option or not If you have a therapist and you know you need someone to talk to, Goerlich suggests going to the Crisis Text Line by sending HOME to number 741741. You have volunteers with whom you can talk 24/7 talk through you r holiday feelings. You can also try one of these mental health and therapy apps. Goerlich also recommends using a meditation app for a quick mindfulness meditation when you feel overwhelmed. And, hey, if you say goodbye to a first-time therapy session, focus on what you could get from psychiatric treatment and decide on a resolution for 2019.

Note: If you or someone you love, is depressed and considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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