How to Combat Your Post-Holiday Depression
Festivals and holidays occurring during the fall and winter months, bring us together during a season of dynamic changes in weather, with a significant decrease in daylight hours. Leading up to those celebratory days, people can experience feelings of excitement and anticipation. However, as the season draws to an end, a different set of emotions may surface as we realize celebrations are winding down.
As we begin to pack away decorations and enjoy the last of the leftovers, it’s important to realize that we’re also packing away the experiences, feelings and memories that we’ve just experienced.
All of a sudden, it’s not as exciting anymore. There isn’t anything close on the calendar to plan for, and for most of us, it’s difficult to compare other events to the significance or magnitude of these recent celebrations. We may find ourselves reluctant to return to the everyday. This is when post-holiday depression can set in.
The difference between sadness and depression
Sadness is a normal human emotion we all experience, often triggered by difficult, challenging, hurtful, or disappointing experiences or situations. Sadness is typically linked to a specific event or scenario; we
experience sadness about something. This means when that ‘something’ changes, our emotional well-being improves and returns to our pre-event state.
Depression, is a mental health disorder which makes individuals feel sad or indifferent to many events or scenarios. In some instances, there may be no specific trigger, situation, loss, or change that causes the depressive symptoms, just an overwhelming and perpetual state of unhappiness.
Recognize the symptoms
Symptoms of depression may include:
• feelings of restlessness and/or despair;
• sadness throughout the day;
• having difficulty concentrating and making decisions;
• crying for no apparent reason;
• thoughts of suicide;
• feeling tired and/or have no energy; and
• loss of interest in ones favourite activities.
Here are some non-medical approaches that may improve the symptoms of depression:
Stay active. Studies have shown that 20 to 30 minutes of regular physical activity a day can help to relieve symptoms of mild to moderate depression.
Practice mindfulness. Being mindful of negative thoughts can help to isolate feelings, and reframe the experience in a constructive manner.
Sleep schedule. Having a regular sleep schedule can help train the body in knowing when it is time to rest and re-energize.
Eat better. Eating foods that are high in vitamins and minerals are known to help regulate serotonin levels, which may help to reduce symptoms of depression and mood swings.
If you or someone you know may be facing extended periods of depression, seek out professional support from a qualified healthcare professional. With appropriate support and treatment you can feel better.
*Always consult with a physician or qualified health care professional to identify the right course of treatment for depression.
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