Why does the “most wonderful time of the year” feel so bad?
“Seasonal anxiety” and “seasonal depression” are two phrases mentioned a lot this time of year. And, for good reason. Between the pressures of shopping, gift-giving, and visiting with family, it’s no wonder that the “most wonderful time of the year” can feel like anything but. Add the changing seasons and it’s almost surprising if you DO NOT experience any symptoms. Here at Mind Health Group, a Michigan psychiatrist, therapist, and mental health pharmacy, we hear a lot about seasonal anxiety and depression around this time. Dr. Brian Weinstein, Michigan psychiatrist and founder of Mind Health Group says:
“I think many people feel a sense of guilt for even bringing up anxiety and depression at this time of the year. The media (both national and social) works hard to portray that we should be experiencing nothing but joy and happiness for the holidays. But, everyone should know that not only is it ok to not feel ok right now, it’s common! There is a comfort in knowing that you’re not alone and anyone feeling seasonal anxiety and depression certainly is not alone.”
With all of that being said, here are 8 tips for managing seasonal anxiety and depression!
- Meditate. While some hear the word “meditation” and think of it as a new-age practice without medical validation, the research actually suggests the opposite.
- Set realistic expectations. The holidays don’t have to be perfect, and trying to make them so can only add to your stress. Instead, focus on the things that are most important to you and let go of the rest.
- Take care of yourself. The holiday season is a busy time, but it’s important to prioritize self-care. Make time for exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation.
- Reach out for support. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to a friend, family member, or us at Mind Health Group, a Michigan psychiatrist, about your concerns.
- Don’t overextend yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but trying to do too much can lead to burnout. Be selective about the events and activities you participate in and don’t be afraid to say no.
- Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing your attention to the present moment. It can help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. Try taking a few minutes each day to focus on your breath and pay attention to your surroundings.
- Set aside time for relaxation. The holidays can be hectic, but it’s important to carve out time for relaxation and fun. Whether it’s a quiet evening at home or a fun outing with friends, make sure to schedule in some time for yourself.
- Seek professional help if needed. If you’re struggling with holiday anxiety, it may be helpful to talk to us at Mind Health Group, a Michigan psychiatrist. We can provide support and guidance to help you manage your anxiety and enjoy the holiday season.
Remember, the holidays don’t have to be perfect. By taking care of yourself and reaching out for support when needed, you can reduce your holiday anxiety and focus on the things that matter most.