5 Ways to Cope With Seasonal Depression and Holiday Stress
December 16, 2020
It’s common for people to feel stressed out, especially during the holiday season. There can be a lot of stress to make everything perfect for the ones you love. Winter is also a time when seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder can affect someone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), seasonal affective disorder occurs when seasons begin and end. It is most common when the days get shorter in the fall and winter. It causes moods to change and can seriously affect how a person feels, thinks, and acts on a daily basis. If you have noticed significant changes in your mood or behavior during season changes, then you might have seasonal depression. Even if you don’t suffer from seasonal depression, the holiday can add more stress to your life. However, there are healthy ways you can cope with both of these.
1. Get more exercise
Exercise is a great way to combat stress. It can also help people with depression. When you have seasonal depression, you often feel sluggish with low energy. If you can motivate yourself to get moving whether that be outside or indoors, then it will help relieve some of your stress. Vitamin D can help people with seasonal depression, so going outside and taking a walk can be beneficial.
2. Cut down on carbs and sweets
People with seasonal depression can sometimes crave more carbs. This can actually make your body feel worse. Stress can also lead to overeating or unhealthy eating habits. That’s why it’s important to watch what you’re eating if you are struggling with either of these things. Try to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. Lean proteins can also help boost nutritional value in your meals. In the end, this will make your body feel better.
3. Talk to a loved one
Don’t be afraid to talk to a loved one about what you are going through. Seasonal depression is extremely common and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Social isolation only makes stress and depression worse. Find someone you trust and confide in them what you are going through.
4. Find a support group
If you can find a support group for seasonal depression, then it may be beneficial for you. There are counseling groups that you can consult with, as well as, individual counselors if you don’t want to be a part of a group setting. Being a part of a support group can help you feel less alone in what you’re dealing with.
5. Consult with a doctor
If you are experiencing symptoms of seasonal depression, then you should consult a doctor. Your doctor can help you find a treatment method. Light therapy, Vitamin D, and psychotherapy are common treatments for people with seasonal affective disorder. Be sure to talk to your doctor and find a treatment method that best suits you.
Now offering virtual mental health and counseling services
The Ascension Online Care platform now includes virtual mental health and counseling services. Video chat with an experienced psychiatrist or therapist online from wherever you are. Appointments are available seven days a week for convenient mental and emotional health services from the comfort of your own home.
To get started, visit ascensiononlinecare.org or download the app from the App Store or Google Play. And then select the option that is right for you: psychiatry or therapy. Please reference your schedule of benefits, located in the Information Center, to know the expected out-of-pocket cost.