Mental Health: Keeping An Eye On Seasonal Affective Disorder and Depression During the Holidays

Every year, December is one of the hardest months for mental health, with Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression adding to an already stressful time. Here are some good ways to maintain your mental health and keep an eye out for your friends and family this year.

Make Time For Yourself

During December, there is a lot of pressure to spend time with friends, family, and loved ones during all of the days surrounding Christmas. Often, this can feel exhausting and overwhelming even for someone unaffected by Seasonal Effectiveness Disorder or Depression. Make sure to leave time for you to relax and recharge. Another option is to make holiday plans that are smaller and more relaxing. Instead of a party, consider staying in and watching a Christmas movie with your family.  In any case, take time to care for yourself.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Can Affect Anyone, But There Are Effective Treatments

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also called Seasonal Depression, is noticeable fatigue and depression that occurs during the winter months when it’s darkest outside. While it is very different from clinical depression, which is chronic and long-lasting depression, there are similarities in how you can help reduce the effects. Daily exercise, eating healthy, and meditation can be very helpful activities, depending on what works best for you. With Seasonal Affective Disorder, light therapy is another useful tool. By spending some time each day with a light that seems like sunlight, you can lessen the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Be Mindful of Others While Celebrating

Even while you’re spending time with the people you love, take time to check in on how they’re doing with the holiday stress. Especially people you know who are depressed, keep an eye on whether they need some help dealing with the season. It might not be inviting them to events (they might be overwhelmed with all the social obligations), but something simple like giving them an unexpected gift or compliment. That way everyone can have the best time during the winter holidays!