Halloween was not even over and we were already seeing the commercials, the Christmas movies and the store aisles full of Christmas décor, with a bit of Thanksgiving thrown in. The holiday seasons are marketed as a time of cheerfulness and joyful family togetherness. But for all too many, it can also be a time of intense stress, anxiety and/or depression.
Many have jobs that are extra stressful and busy during the holiday season. Others have family issues that leave spending time together as anything but a joy. The recent loss of a loved one may make the holidays difficult to face. Too many events, not enough money, not enough time, and family pressures are just a few of the problems that can make the holidays dark and dreary rather than bright and cheery. And now we have the very real concerns about gatherings and the risks of Covid-19 to top off the Christmas melee.
It is important to look at what is causing you to be stressed, anxious or depressed. Understanding the cause will help you find the best way for you to cope and manage your feelings. You may find that techniques that helped you deal with stress other years aren’t working as well this year. That may be because this year the stress is different. Perhaps too many social events and trying to meet everyone’s expectations was your key stressor in previous years. Now this year you may find yourself lonely and depressed as many choose to cancel the usual gatherings. Perhaps the death of a loved has left you alone in grief and struggling with social distancing. Working long hours while worrying about bringing home Covid-19 to your family may be a new stressor for you.
Connecting with others can help us beat the seasonal stress and depression, but that is difficult to do in a time of social distancing. It is important to find new ways to stay connected to family and friends. Social media, phone calls, and video calls are a few ways to stay connected. Getting outside and walking can be a safe alternative for getting together to visit with a friend in person. Writing letters and cards can help you feel connected to loved ones that are far away.
If you feel that is not enough to defeat your stress and depression and you think you need professional help to overcome your holiday stress, anxiety and depression, call us to schedule an appointment.