How to Cope with Depression During the Holidays

How to Cope with Depression During the Holidays

How to Cope with Depression During the HolidaysEveryone says the holidays are supposed to be a joyous time of year. Are they really that joyous? For some people, it really is a magical time. Unfortunately for many people, particularly seniors, it’s not as happy as everyone makes it out to be. These people feel dread, sadness, and loneliness.

Depression during the holidays is common, especially for the elderly.

According to Adam K. Anderson, Ph.D., who is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, states that the media makes it hard for people because they tell people they need to be happy. It can be hard to be happy though, especially when you’ve lost very special people in your life that you used to share the holidays with year after year.

The holidays are special times. Many memories are created during those times. These memories are remembered each holiday season. When people feel as though they won’t have times like those again – they mourn them. It’s very sad.

Do you or your loved one feel this way?

I understand how hard it is for you. With everyone busy around you, it can be difficult to look back and remember when life was like that for you because you miss it. You miss the children, your spouse, friends and family members who have moved on away from you. All those memories, as good as they are, just aren’t good to remember right now because you know they are just a thing of the past.

I want you to know that what you’re feeling is normal. You are not the only one feeling depressed and lonely. Your despair is felt by many during this time of year. There are ways you can help yourself feel better though.

Talk about it. Getting it out verbally can help you let go of a lot of those emotions you have attached to those memories. Crying is okay. It’s therapeutic. Let it go. Those memories deserve the emotions you have because they are special. Talk through them. Share them with others who will appreciate your past happiness.

Writer about it. Capture those memories on paper. Write about all of those holiday seasons you spent with your loved ones. What do you remember that means the most to you? Writing all of those thoughts and feelings down will help you release them. Future generations will love to read about them and imagine what it must have been like to be there with you.

Spend time with loved ones. As much as you want to isolate yourself, don’t do it. You will likely feel worse when you spend the holidays by yourself. Try to create new memories by spending time with family and friends.

Celebrate the season. Find ways to celebrate the season. Make handmade gifts, decorate, and attend holiday parties. Don’t try to push these things away because they bring back memories. Embrace this time, so you can share in the delight with others. Sometimes, the more you resist, the worse you feel.

Take care of yourself. It can be difficult to get out of bed, eat well, and engage with others when you’re feeling depressed. Do it for your own good health though. Force yourself out of bed, take a shower, eat as much as you can, and make plans. As much as you may not want to, you will likely feel better at the end of the day.

The holidays are a struggle. I’m here for you or your loved one. As part of my consulting services, I help people get through difficult times. I lend an ear and a shoulder to cry on. I’m here to listen to memories, provide motivation, and help you with your situation. Contact me now to learn how we can schedule a session.

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Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M. Licensed Psychotherapist (Retired)


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