The holiday season is upon us, which can be the best of times and the worst of times.
It’s a time of the year, in fact, that can often be stressful and disappointing. For many, there can be feelings of sadness and depression, particularly for those who have lost loved ones.
Social isolation is one of the biggest predictors of depression.
Mental health professionals say that people who are lonely or have feelings of disconnectedness often avoid social interactions at this time of year. Unfortunately, this can make things worse.
Mental health experts encourage people to follow these practical tips:
- Acknowledge your feelings. Don’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the
- Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, work-related, religious or
other social events that will offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to
help others can be a good way to lift your spirits.
- Avoid conflict with family and friends. Try to accept family members and friends as
they are, even if they don’t live up to your expectations. Try to set aside any grievances.
- Learn to say “no. ” Saying “yes” when you should say “no” can leave you feeling
resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and family will understand if you can’t participate
in every project or activity.
- Learn to grieve. If the holidays remind you of a loved one, it’s a good time to discuss
your feelings or find help by joining a support group.
- Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. This may include listening to soothing
music, getting a massage, or reading a book.
- Depression at this time of year, or any time for that matter, should not be ignored. If these feelings last, it’s time to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.