5 Ways to Manage Seasonal Stress and Depression

The holidays are a time of joy and celebration for many people, but for others they can be a time of stress and depression. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that typically occurs during the winter months, when there is less daylight. The stress associated with the holidays, along with the colder weather and shorter days, can be very difficult to manage. In this blog post, we will discuss five ways to manage seasonal stress and depression.

How can one know if they are experiencing symptoms of seasonal depression, though? Symptoms might include being lethargic and unmotivated, having difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, feeling sad or irritable, or experiencing changes in appetite and sleep patterns. In this blog post, we will discuss five ways to manage seasonal stress and depression.

1. Take Time for Self-Care: During the holidays, it can be easy to get caught up in all the activities and forget to make time for yourself. Make sure to schedule some "me" time each day to do things that help you relax and recharge. Whether it's taking a bath, reading a book, or going for a walk, make sure you find something that helps you relax and enjoy the moment.

2. Spend Time with Friends and Family: Surrounding yourself with positive people who can show their support can be very beneficial for managing stress during the holidays. Take time to connect with your loved ones and share how you're feeling. They may be able to offer words of encouragement, or simply lend a listening ear.

3. Exercise Regularly: Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and boost your mood. Even if it's just a walk around the block, engaging in some form of physical activity will release hormones like serotonin that can help with managing stress and depression.

4. Get Enough Sleep: Lack of sleep can have a major impact on how we manage stress and depression. Make sure to get seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night and try to avoid late nights or sleeping in too late during the day.

5. Talk to a Professional: If you're feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope, it's important to seek professional help. A mental health professional can help you find healthy ways of managing your stress and depression during the holidays.

By taking these steps and making time for self-care, you will be better equipped to handle the stress associated with the holidays and seasonal depression. Don't let stress or depression get in the way of enjoying this special time of year. Reach out for help, if needed, and remind yourself that you are not alone. If you’re looking for more information on seasonal mental health, then check out this link to the trusted National Institute of Mental Health: More Information.

Happy holidays!

- Aaron Schwartz
Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern
Feel free to learn more or schedule a session here