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Tips To Combat Seasonal Depression

December 21, 2020 | Blog

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As the holidays approach be on lookout for friends, family members, coworkers and residents that exhibit signs of seasonal depression.

Key Signs to Lookout For

• Does your loved one seem to be more withdrawn than usual?

• Are they behaving more erratically and impulsively?

• Are they more irritable?

• Do they typically respond quickly to a text or phone call, but now they are not responding at all?

It’s also important to pay attention to the content of what a friend or loved one is talking or writing about. Do they avoid talking about future plans? Are they making references of wanting to escape or that they have nothing to live for? These could be cues that someone is feeling hopeless and may even be entertaining serious thoughts of self-harm.

Closeup of senior woman holding daughters hand. Family members helping each other in difficult times. Taking care concept

How to Help

Often, the simple act of reaching out is meaningful. A small well-wishing or expression of gratitude can make a world of difference to someone who feels alone.

When you talk to your loved one, use these tips:

  • Let them know that you are there for them and that they matter to you.
  • Acknowledge that the holiday season can be difficult and that it’s OK not to feel happy or joyous.
  • Express gratitude for having them in your life.
  • Remind them that even though this might be a difficult or even painful time, things change, and they will likely feel better at a later time.
  • Most importantly, let them know that you love and care for them.
  • It is important to remember to take care of yourself. Although the holiday season focuses on giving to others, neglecting your own feelings and forgetting to take care of yourself can lead to undue stress and depression as well.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid holiday stress and depression:

  • Make realistic expectations for the holiday season.
  • Set reachable goals for yourself.
  • Pace yourself. Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle.
  • Make a list and prioritize the important activities. This can help make holiday tasks more manageable.
  • Be realistic about what you can and cannot do.
  • Do not put all your energy into just one day (i.e., Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve). The holiday cheer can be spread from one holiday event to the next.
  • Live and enjoy the present.
  • Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and sadness by comparing today with the good old days of the past.
  • If you are lonely, try volunteering some time to help others.
  • Limit your drinking, since excessive drinking will only increase your feelings of depression.
  • Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way.
  • Spend time with supportive and caring people.
  • Reach out and make new friends.
  • Make time to contact a long-lost friend or relative and spread some holiday cheer.
  • Make time for yourself!
  • Let others share the responsibilities of holiday tasks.
  • Keep track of your holiday spending. Overspending can lead to depression when the bills arrive after the holidays are over.

At Spring Hills, we understand that this is the most wonderful time of the year but can also be depressing for those that are away from family, especially with the current COVID-19 restrictions. We aim to prevent the feelings of isolation and depression that many of our resident’s experience during this time of the year by creating a nurturing environment with decorations and special attention to the individual needs of every resident and their families. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed and we are working to do everything in our power to make even a socially distanced holiday, a happy, healthy and safe one.

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