The holiday season is here, and it’s not always peachy for everyone. For one reason or another many of us find ourselves with holiday depression, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Most of these tips lie in communication and planning.
It’s also important to note that I’ll be writing these from the perspective of a recently graduated college student. So I’ll mostly be talking about holiday problems in the average adult life. This is advice I’ve determined to be useful for myself and close friends, but keep in mind that I’m not an expert.
My last post covered four tips to help fix a bad day, so I thought I’d stick with the theme. So here are four things that might help lift you up from your holiday depression.
1. Talk to your family
This sounds obvious because it is. Whenever I have depression around the holidays I always reach out to my parents and siblings. Not everyone can home for the holidays, plane tickets can be expensive and travel isn’t always an option.
Even if you are coming home to your family, don’t feel anxious to call them, they’ll get more out of it than you think, trust me. No matter what you talk about, you’ll always find comfort knowing that they care about you.
2. If you can’t call your family, reach out for a friend
Unfortunately not all of us have a family we can reach out to. Some of us may have poor ties or no ties at all. In any case it’s best to get a hold of some of your good friends. Who knows, maybe they’re in the same boat as you. Even if they’re not, there’s a good chance they’d be open to a video call. Staying connected with friends can give everyone a sense of belonging. To know that someone is thinking about you is a great gift.
3. If you don’t have many friends you can rely on, try to make new ones
Making new friends is hard, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Many of us lose friends, and it can leave us with depression come the holidays. If anything try to be active in your community. Look for small events to meet people at, like open mic nights or casual art exhibitions. With COVID-19 this can be difficult of course, so only attend events like these if your local government deems it safe. In other words, wear a mask and use social distancing.
Another way to make friends around this time is through home activities. Notably those that go hand in hand with communication, like video games. While video games aren’t for everyone it’s a great excuse to talk with other people. Pick a game you like, then look for a community that shares your interest. Most of the communication here comes from voice call apps like Discord, where you can chat with people while playing a game. While talking to online friends might seem like a hollow way to socialize, I believe it can really make your holidays better.
4.Don’t worry about money
While this tip isn’t about communication, I think it’s really important to touch on. With COVID-19, it can be hard to come up with money for gifts. This pressure to give can leave anyone feeling depressed during the holidays. If you’re unsure about how much money you have, make a list. Putting your budget alongside planned gifts for your family and friends makes it easier to digest it all.
If you decide you can’t give gifts after that, that’s ok! Make your family and friends cards instead. It’ll still show that you took the time to do something nice for them. It’ll make them feel good, which will make you feel good.
I recommend browsing for holiday card templates online. Pinterest is a great source, as seen here.
If you have depression that isn’t always consistent, I recommend that you look at an article I posted earlier. It goes over how you can make bad days better. While some of the advice is basic, there are plenty of details that I think are good to know. If you’re interested, you can find it here.
If anyone reading has a question they might want to ask me regarding how I’ve improved my mental wellness or anything else, feel free to email me.