For some people, parties are the happiest time of the year, with an endless flood of family and friends' gatherings, a lot of gifts and more delicious holiday treats that the waist can handle. However, for others, the Christmas season produces an unexpected consequence: the beginning of a certain sadness, even a total depression during the holidays.
In fact, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), 38 percent of respondents admitted that their stress level increases during the holiday season, and the research published in Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience reveals that not only many people find themselves in a worse mood during vacations, the number of alcohol-related deaths during the pre-Christmas period also tends to increase.
But there is some good news (for example): there are many ways to counteract the sadness of the parties you are trying to choke with eggnog and cookies.
Some of the main stressors of the holidays?
According to the APA, the main stressors of the holidays tend to be the lack of time, lack of money and the exaggeration that normally precedes the most important festive events, and is often followed by a
However , these are far from being the only factors that can make people turn blue at this time of year.
"There are a variety of things that can make people feel sad, sad or even depressed during the holidays," says Dr. Jaime Kulaga, Ph.D., a licensed mental health counselor and life coach. "One of the most common reasons people feel depressed during vacations is to feel alone … The holiday season is about family and friends gathering to celebrate and be grateful. around, vacations can create feelings of sadness or even symptoms of depression. "
For many people who live in northern climates, the weather can also wreak havoc on your mood during this time of year.
"It gets darker earlier on the outside, it gets colder and, in general, people tend to be more confined … With less activity, people may experience a weight gain and a decrease in their state of encouragement, "says Dr. Kulaga.
"In addition, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a diagnosis that affects approximately five percent of the population.Many people know that SAD is the" winter blues. "SAD is a depression that is related to the change of the season, usually between the middle and late fall and winter, as the season progresses, the symptoms tend to get worse, "with weight gain, sleep disorders, irritability and lack of desire to do things with family and friends, among some of its most notable symptoms.
How should it be encouraged?
Kulaga suggests staying socially active as an effective means of counteracting the low moods that often accompany parties.
"Holidays are about the family, not about emptying your bank account to buy gifts." If you have some extra money and your family is on a plane trip, let them know that you will not be buying gifts this year or that You are reducing the size of your gifts at these parties so you can visit them and spend time with them, "suggests Kulaga." This will probably end up being the best gift for your mind and your soul, as well as theirs! "
] Similarly, while you may want to stay away from the rest of the world when the holidays are over, take your friends and friends in. Colleagues on those invitations to spend time together will do you a lot of good in the long run. "Friends they're family, "says Kulaga, who suggests starting a Friendsgiving tradition or going to a friend's ugly sweater party if the season has depressed you. Research published in Journal of Clinical Psychology suggests that p Roasting time with friends makes a significant difference between people with depressive symptoms.
So, if you feel sad: pick up the phone and call an old friend. Or go on a date with someone nearby to have a coffee or walk in the park. Whatever you do, it will work to improve your mood as long as you connect with someone you care about on an emotional level and feel as if you are involved with the larger world around you (that is, not isolated or alienated).
What is it that makes holiday depression worse?
While wearing elastic pants and going bad can seem like a good way to feel better, doing so can have the opposite effect in the long term.
"During the holiday season, we are inundated with extra snacks, food, sweets and alcohol, all this extra fat, calories and processed foods have a negative impact on the distribution of serotonin and, consequently, on the general mood, "says Dr. Kulaga.
Research suggests that following a healthy meal plan can do as much, if not more, when it comes to improving your mood rather than going to a party. According to a study published in BMC Medicine making changes in the healthy diet actually reduces the depressive symptoms of the participants rather than making new friends.
"Keep the ways you've been taking care of yourself," suggests Therapist Erika Miley, LMHC. "Many times, when we visit the family or are out of our routine, we lose or leave out the ways we fill our cup. Do your best to keep part of your routine healthy. "
What should you do if you notice that your friend or family member feels bad during the holidays?
And if you discover that the members of your inner circle seem be In this holiday season, there is an easy way to help: simply spread out, invite them to a movie, invite them to game nights or just send them a weekly text message to register.
"If you know someone is sad during On vacation, take some time to let them talk. Often, we listen to respond, but if we stop to really listen, you can easily discover why someone is sad or suffering, "suggests Dr. Kulaga.
" And, of course, if you know someone is seriously depressed, Encourage them to talk to a professional and let them know that it is okay to feel how they feel and that there is hope. " And for more ways to improve your mood throughout the year, discover these 75 Genius tricks to get instantly Happy.
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The publication The best thing you can do when you're Feeling Sad This Holiday Season first appeared in Best Life.