Depression and the Holidays
Now, I'm not trying to become the poster boy for "depression" here, but I did get an overwhelming response to my article about dealing with depression and I wanted to pass along some good advice from WebMD about ways to avoid getting the Holiday Blues.
If you live with depression, or if someone close to you deals with chronic depression, pass this along to them. Just knowing that there are people out there who don't deal with depression can really help.
Here are the high points of an excellent article about depression during the holidays from WebMD:
1. Keep your expectations simple. Life is rarely like it is on Christmas cards or in the movies. Don't try too hard to "catch the Christmas spirit." Sometimes just staying on a nice even keel can cheer up your holidays.
2. Try something different - As Doctor Phil is famous for saying, "and hows that working for you?" If you've tried to get in the Christmas mood by doing all the old, traditional Christmas activities, do something else. Getting involved in a Christmas project like a charity might help.
3. Use your support system- this is a big one. If you know someone who understands and accepts your depression, stay in touch with them. Sometimes just an understanding voice can help.
4. Don’t predict the worst- This is a big one. It's called "self fulfilling prophecy" and it can really mess up all attempts to deal with depression year round. It's really nothing more than positive thinking when it comes to the holidays. I have a friend that suffers from depression and he has a bad habit of going into every situation thinking that it's going to turn out bad. If you go in with negative expectations, you're almost sure to have negative results.
5. Dump the unimportant stuff- What if you don't get the outside lights up? What if you don't send out cards? You can "what if" yourself into quite a state of depression just sweating the small stuff. The more you think about such things, the bigger problems they will become. By concentrating on the "what if's" you will make them bigger and more important than they need to be.
There are more great tips and HERE you can read the entire article from WebMD. I hope these hints help. Even if you just follow through on a few of them, you might find that the depression didn't come home for Christmas this year.