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Causes of Holiday Depression and Stress

December 19, 2022

The holidays are fast approaching, and for too many, so are the blues.

There are several reasons why some people tend to become depressed around the holidays. Although the holidays are the season of lights, the decrease in natural daylight can contribute to people feeling depressed throughout the winter months. For many people, the holidays can be a stark reminder that they have less than others. It can be quite disheartening to see others around you receive more or better presents or be surrounded by more friends or loved ones than you have. The holidays can be especially difficult for people who suffered the recent loss of a friend or loved one and know that this year things will be very different. Even those who do have a lot of money or people to celebrate with are not immune to suffering the blues during the holidays.

The holidays can be a time of tremendous stress because of how busy this time of the year gets and having lots of people to celebrate with might mean feeling pressure to attend lots of holiday gatherings. These gatherings very often include consuming food and drinks that not only increase waistlines but can also increase feelings of depression. But that’s another story that I’ll cover in an upcoming article.

Many people put tremendous pressure on themselves during the holidays, leading to increased stress and ultimately feelings of depression if this gets overwhelming. Trying to be at every celebration is rather stressful, but so is being the host. The pressure to cook the perfect meal, having your house immaculately decorated, and really capturing the holiday spirit can leave many feeling less jolly, and more stressed and depleted.

Hosting inevitably means shopping, and at a time when many people have the exact same idea, leading to crowded stores, tons of traffic, and the struggle to find the items you need, especially as supply chains are being stretched thin. The same applies to shopping for presents for your loved ones and shrinking holiday budgets add to this stress substantially.

The other side of this is that trying to be everywhere and do everything to create a memorable holiday season leaves less time for self-care and recovery from all this stress. Without that ‘me time’ the stress and pressure are more prone to turn into depression.

Here’s the good news though: most of the factors that lead to depression, or help to prevent it, are within our control, and treatment is available to address any of these factors. If you find that you’re struggling to deal with the stress and emotions that come up during the holiday season, give us a call. The staff at TLC is ready and willing to give you a hand with keeping the holidays bright and merry.