It’s okay to tell someone you’re depressed. In fact, talking about depression is the start of getting help, of being seen. But the person you choose to tell must be okay with hearing about depression. Depression can be very dark, and not everyone wants to hear the darker details. The person should be non-judgemental, […]
Christmas Depression Self Care Tips
Why might you need Christmas depression self care? Well, Christmas depression doesn’t only affect someone who is depressed or suffering from SAD. Christmas depression can happen to anyone.
Unrealistic expectations, anxiety, stress, increased responsibility, increased financial spending, and loneliness can overwhelm a person. The yearly anniversary of the death of a loved one around Christmas time creates inner turmoil of whether you’re allowed to publicly grieve during a time of festivities. If you’re depressed, pretending to be happy at gatherings is the mountain to climb.
So what can you do about Christmas depression?
Christmas depression self care tips.
1. Time out.
It’s not selfish to take time out of a hectic day. 15 minutes to yourself can be just the thing you need to recharge. Give yourself permission to feel grumpy or cry. Accept practical help when offered. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Let others lift some of the load off your shoulders. At the end of the day make sure you de-stress with self care. That can be anything from a foamy bath, warm coffee or alcohol, fuzzy slippers, or a good movie.
2. Good night sleep.
Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t keep a list of things to do for tomorrow in your head. Write the stuff out before going to bed. Don’t over indulge in alcohol or chocolates which tend to keep you awake. Tuck your cell phone away someplace that’s not your bedroom.
3. Don’t shop til you drop.
It’s not cool or amusing to shop until you’re so exhausted that you feel like dropping to the floor. Shopping online can be addictive. Set up time limits for online shopping. Don’t buy the first thing you see. That will create guilt for overspending. You may even forget what you bought for who.
4. One gift only.
Before the shopping spree starts, make a list of people you want to buy things, then put a limit of one gift per person! Yes, one gift only. That means you’ll have one important gift for everyone, instead of getting a whole bunch of stuff and stretching yourself financially thin. Remember to buy yourself one gift too.
5. Grieving at Christmas is okay.
Grief shouldn’t be hidden. The yearly death anniversary around or at Christmas is a tremendous burden on a person. There’s this tremendous expectation of what Christmas should be and feel like. But that’s not your reality. Let people know you are grieving. Discuss with others what triggers you or conversations that offend you. Let people know its okay to say the name of the deceased. Honour your loved one by doing things you did together, or set an extra seat at the table.
Call over friends. Even one person will be fine. The goal is for you to have supportive, non-judgemental support during Christmas. Talk to your neighbour. You’ll be surprised that a neighbour can become a close friend. Even pets stave off loneliness. If depression starts feeling severe, seek professional support.
7. No Shame.
We’re scared of what people will think about us. Stigma keeps us from talking with others about what hurts. Don’t be embarrassed. Depression is about dealing with a life experience that overwhelms you. Depression affects 1 in 4 people, so chances are someone you know also suffers with depression.
8. Expect the Bad, Accept the Good.
Expect bad emotional days. Accept any day or moment that’s good. If you usually cry every morning or don’t feel like getting up, accept that’s how you’ll be during the holidays. But don’t expect that’s how the rest of the day will go. Life can feel good so enjoy those moments and let yourself feel happy.
9. Avoid Family Drama.
People don’t change who they are overnight. Nor will they suddenly love you or want to be your friend. Family drama only diminishes your self-esteem, isolates you, and leaves you feeling more alone than before. Be realistic and know that others are bringing personal baggage to the party. If you are anxious or worried about a particular person, maybe the best thing for your mental health is to avoid the person altogether. There’s no rule saying you must meet with every family member at Christmas.
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