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How to Manage Depression During the Holidays

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

Unless, of’s not.

If your mental illness seems to be louder around the holidays, know you’re not alone; a whopping 64% of those who experience mental illness say that the holiday season makes their symptoms worse.

So, what can you do when the Holiday Blues start to become a little too much?

Make (and Keep) Routine Therapy Appointments

Prevention is always good, so (if you’re able) be sure to schedule and attend your routine talk therapy appointments. Getting ahead of your feelings and talking them out with a professional can help you find treatment and coping techniques that fit your needs.

Teletherapy is also a great option if you are having a hard time leaving the house or are worried about winter weather!

Check-In With Loved Ones

Taking the time to talk to someone you love can be really healing for your soul. And if you’re struggling, they might be, too! Pick up the phone and place a call. Use video chat. Send a text. Or even just send a meme or a Tik Tok.

Think about when you receive those things, and how it makes you feel. At that moment, you know that person was thinking of you. The smallest things can leave the biggest impact.

Do Things You Love

When you’re starting to feel down, make the time to do something you enjoy. Watch a favorite show, listen to your favorite album, spend time crafting or hiking or whatever brings you happiness. When you’re deep into the depression cycle, apathy can take over everything...but even if you get a solitary moment of joy, it’s worth doing.

Put Yourself First

You are a priority. Your mental health matters.

When things start to get bad, it’s absolutely okay to put yourself first rather than juggling other responsibilities or the feelings of others. It’s far better to do what you need to do and prevent crisis for yourself than to put your needs on the backburner because someone else “needs” something from you.

Seek External Support When You Need It

Along with checking in on friends and family, don’t forget that it’s okay to lean on them when you need to. If you’re a parent and you need a night to yourself, it’s okay to ask a friend or family member if they can watch the kiddos for a few hours. If you shouldn’t be alone with your thoughts, it’s okay to send out an SOS and ask for someone to meet up with you for coffee. They’d much rather get the call than find out later that you were in pain and they didn’t know.

If you feel alone in what you’re feeling, find your people. Peer support groups can help validate your experience, chipping away a little bit at that feeling of isolation. And sometimes, that can save your life.

Punk Rock Saves Lives cares about you and your mental health. We’re working on expanding our mental health resources, and as always, we have our mental health support community on Facebook. If you’re struggling, please reach out. We’re here for you when you’re ready.

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