Christmas Depression

Christmas is a time when joy is prevalent, but some may experience Christmas depression.  During Christmas, emotional arousal is high: Family and friends come together, or some may be alone.  Expectations are high and one is compelled to feel bad if things don’t happen just right.  There is also the stress in doing all the shopping, decorating, and meal preparations.

Those who live in the northern hemisphere can find themselves in the months of darkness, which brings the extra challenge of the lack sunlight and vitamin D. 

Feeling sad and low is normal, so we have to remember that the definition of depression is a state of feeling low consistently for about two weeks or more without any signs of recuperating.   

Causes of Christmas Depression

Here are a few causes of holiday depression:

  • Loneliness
  • Wishing family were closer
  • Coming together with family
  • Disagreements with family
  • Fights with family
  • Money worries
  • Lack of sunlight
  • Vitamin D deficiency (caused by lack of sunlight)
  • Suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), or winter blues, also caused by lack of vitamin D.
  • Stress from shopping, decorating and preparing meals.
  • Stress from get-togethers and parties
  • Stress from not having where to go or who to spend time with

Most people go through at least one or some of the causes in the above list; however, many people are able to overcome, and bounce back from the issues and have a good time. 

For those who stay depressed, we have a few very effective remedies for dealing with holiday depression.

How To Prevent Holiday Depression

Fortunately, depression is treatable, and we can prevent holiday depression in a few ways:

  • Exercise.  If you do not have a workout routine, start one and make sure you exercise at least 5 days a week.  From brisk walks for 30 minutes, to a full weight exercise routine, it will all be beneficial for your body to clean out the stress toxins. 
  • Cut back on the sweets (processed sugar), caffeine and alcohol.  The holidays may be the hardest time of the year to try to cut back on these items; however, we have to consider that these items considerably increase the body’s propensity for depression. 
  • Have a thankfulness moment.  Write a list of 10 things in your life you are thankful for.  This practice helps the mind shift perspective and look at the positive in life. 
  • Get some sun.  If you live in an area where is hard to find sunlight, get a SAD light.  These lightboxes replicate the sunlight and are very beneficial for producing vitamin D in your body.  They come in different shapes and sizes and usually only have to use them a few minutes a day. 

So there you have it.  A set of effective ways to prevent Christmas depression and live a fuller and happier life. 

 

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