Tips for Managing Holiday Depression in the Time of Covid

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The holidays are generally a time of celebration and family get togethers. In 2020 the holidays are looking different than what we’re used to as families navigate quarantine and social distancing because of Covid. Holidays can bring a variety of feelings including depression as we try to meet the demands of the holidays while under the constraints of a pandemic.

Possible Causes of Holiday Depression

  • Stress
  • Over-commercialization (being bombarded with media and holiday sales)
  • Financial stress
  • Isolation from friends and family, loneliness
  • Shortened amount of sunlight during the day and colder weather
  • Problems between family members

Symptoms of Holiday Depression

  • Fatigue, lack of energy
  • Low mood
  • Lack of concentration
  • Irritability or anger
  • A feeling of regret or failure
  • Sleep disturbance, either too much or not enough
  • Lack of interest in things you normally enjoy

Tips to Manage Holiday Depression

  1. Budget your finances
  2. Volunteer
  3. Exercise and eat healthy meals, don’t excessively overindulge on holiday treats
  4. Start a new tradition or use an old one
  5. Take advantage of free activities like walking through the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights
  6. Decorate even if it is minimal
  7. Email, call, text friends and family
  8. Video chat with friends and family
  9. Seek professional help

Depression that lingers beyond the holidays may signify other problems like major depression or seasonal depression. There is often an expectation that the holidays are supposed to be nonstop cheer and joy. When we are unable to meet that expectation we may become depressed. Adding Covid into the mixture complicates matters. However, there are numerous ways to manage depression during the holidays and feel a sense of fulfillment.

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