The doubleheader holiday is drawing near, and maybe you can’t help but feel depressed. Everyone is excited, but you don’t know how to overcome the holiday blues. Although “winter blues” isn’t a clinically recognized disorder, the holiday period has many potential depression triggers.
There’s an insane array of activities — shopping, family dinners, cooking, travelling, and so many more. Due to reasons like financial constraints and loneliness, even with all of the activities, you may feel depressed. Eventually, you’re likely not to make it to the festivals. It may surprise you to know there are others like you.
Several people struggle with anxiety during the festive period. If you’re getting addiction treatment or in the middle of recovery, this anxiety and depressive feelings can start you on a fast track to relapse.
However, there’s no reason you have to tow this path. In this article, we’ll walk you through ways to avoid the holiday blues that can probably lead to addiction relapse. First, we will take a look at the causative factors behind the holiday blues.
Causes of Holiday Blues
Several factors can trigger depression during the festive period. To avoid holiday blues, you need to know the possible roots of the problem. This will allow you to quickly take preventive actions if need be.
Loss of a loved one
Suppose you’ve just recently lost someone close or a family member. Sometimes, this grief can spill over into depressive thoughts and feelings.
If your family or partner lives far away, it can be challenging to prevent addiction relapse during the holidays, especially when you’re going through a rough time. At the same time, yearning for company, lonely individuals may isolate themselves and get more anxious in the process.
Money is a big part of the festive period. If you’re struggling to pay your bills, you’ll lose interest in the holidays. Plus, the buzz from never-ending parties and family obligations can lead to stress and negative feelings.
Missing past experiences
Memories are a significant part of our lives. If your current living conditions aren’t favourable, you may be stuck hoping for the joyful moments in your past life.
Related article: How to Protect Your Mental Health during the COVID-19 Lockdown
How to Overcome the Holiday Blues
You can enjoy the festive season more than you anticipated. The good thing is, there are several tips you can follow on how to overcome the holiday blues. Indeed, if you follow these tips, you won’t have to be feeling blue when everyone is dressed in red and green.
Reach out to people
Isolation is a significant risk basis for sadness. The thing is, when we’re sad, we tend to hide at home. It can be worse when you’re apart from your family for a holiday. Undoubtedly, you’ll find it hard to connect with anyone physically and socially.
Seek out friends and colleagues who can offer companionship. Besides, you can host a holiday party for your friends and neighbours at your place. Volunteering for things you are interested in may also raise your mood and connect you to new people.
Just ensure you’re not holed up if you’re lonely. For those getting drug rehab treatment in Vancouver, there are many viable options for company.
For instance, you can invite a friend over, join a support group, call people you’re missing, or even visit a counsellor. These positive activities can take over your time, distracting you from negativity.
Constant exercise is a great tip for how to overcome the holiday blues. Researchers have found that exercise plays a significant role in reducing depression and preventing relapse.
So, grab a bottle of water and hit the gym. A quick 15-minute physical activity will increase your heart rate and release feel-good hormones (dopamine). Moreover, you don’t have to overwork yourself on the treadmill to realize the benefits. A simple activity like strolling can trigger enough dopamine release to keep the holiday blues away.
It’s normal to be excited about the numerous holiday activities you have planned out. However, to avoid holiday blues, it’s better to set feasible goals. Your holiday season doesn’t have to be excellent. Over time, people and traditions change. So don’t get sad when your holiday doesn’t turn out like last year’s.
The goal is to enjoy the present festive season and create new memories. Don’t dwell on what you should be doing. Instead, relish the experience of the holiday. If your family can’t make it for the festive period, find new ways to enjoy it together. For instance, you can connect virtually and send pictures.
Keep healthy habits
You can’t overcome the holiday blues if you’re overindulgent. For people struggling with self-esteem, a bad health habit will only add to your depression.
We know the holiday period comes with larger portions of food, tasty desserts and a lot of free alcohol. However, you must take care to indulge moderately.
Here are some ways you can manage your habits:
- Eat a balanced diet with tons of fruits.
- Get enough sleep.
- Avoid excessive use of drugs and alcohol.
- Eat vegetables.
- Don’t eat many sweet foods.
This method on how to prevent holiday depression is often ignored. The festive season means there are more individuals making demands and asking for help. You shouldn’t lose yourself by trying to meet up with the favours of others — set limits for yourself.
We’re not saying you should turn down every request but ensure you have time to enjoy the holiday. Attend a few parties and help some people. Most importantly, avoid overscheduling. Performing several activities will stress you, adding to the pressure that comes with addiction recovery.
Try new activities
Do you celebrate the festive period differently at your family home? You may be homesick, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try new traditions.
You can go on a tour and experience the beauty of the country you live in. There are no hard and fast rules for how the season should be enjoyed. So, don’t be scared to try new activities aside from your regular ones.
Seek expert help
Even after practicing the tips on how to overcome the holiday blues, you may notice you’re feeling sad. If this is the case, then it’s time to take a bold step. Seek professional help and get addiction treatment in Vancouver.
You may be experiencing something more than the holiday blues. Probably, a depressive disorder. Addiction treatment experts and counsellors can guide you through the process of exploring treatment alternatives.
How Holiday Blues Affect Addiction Treatment
Mental and substance abuse are closely associated with each other. You should know that the holiday blues can lead to full-blown depression. Besides, if the symptoms are severe, it can include a depressive disorder diagnosis.
To avoid further problems, you must know how to prevent the holiday blues. If you’re receiving addiction treatment, here’s how it can affect your medication.
Anxiety and stress
Anxiety and stress is a major cause of holiday blues. They make you anxious and leave you restless during the season. For someone recovering from addiction, it can weaken your resolve, resulting in a lapse.
When you’re always sad, you’ll tend to seek solace in unhealthy habits like overeating, binge drinking and oversleeping. All these habits will impede your addiction treatment. More importantly, if controlled poorly, unhealthy habits can quickly spiral into another addiction.
It’s one thing to be isolated to recover from your addiction. It’s another to be isolated and depressed. If you’re isolated during your addiction treatment, you’ll likely be tempted to return to your addiction. If you give in, your addiction may become worse than before.
Survive the Holiday Blues today!
Ultimately, how you overcome the holiday blues solely depends on you. It can turn your holiday into a period of despair, but with effort on your part, your holiday can be memorable. With the tips above, you can curb the holiday blues, ensuring your addiction recovery is on track. Call Inspire Change Addiction Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs.