Coping with holiday depression


Ludia Kim

The holidays, for most people, are a time to spend with loved ones by festive gatherings and traditions. However, for some, the holidays can be as a time of loneliness. 

Due to the seasonal affective disorder that runs fall through winter, may occur in those who feel lonely around the holidays. 

One of the most common indicators of holiday blues, “is anhedonia, or the loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities or the inability to experience pleasure,” claimed Forbes. 

Holiday depression is caused by “stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, over-commercialization, financial stress, and the inability to be with one’s family and friends,” said WebMD. 

Forbes claimed that, demands and stress plays a role for getting holiday depression. Financial concerns and the stress of schoolwork pile up as the demands of gifts and travel adds to the stress. According to a survey by the American Psychology Association, “56 percent of respondents reported they experienced the most amount of stress at work. Only 29 percent experienced greater amounts of stress at home.” 

Another cause could be managing the high expectations during the holidays. The pressures of having the perfect jolly season, induces increased levels of stress. Another statistic from the survey shows, “Thirty-eight percent of people surveyed said their stress levels increased during the holiday season. Participants listed the top stressors: lack of time, lack of money, commercialism, the pressures of gift-giving, and family gatherings.”

Healthline claims that one of the biggest factors of holiday depression is the feeling of loneliness once seeing and comparing themselves with people who are happy. An easy solution to social isolation, is to  reconnect with family, friends and other loved ones. 

Although it may not seem like a big deal, holiday depression must be treated. Arranging to spend time with family, counseling, support groups, even regular exposure to sunlight are all ways to cope with the holiday blues.

If holiday depression is not treated correctly, some direct consequences include excessive drinking, overeating and insomnia, according to MedicineNet. 

So, during the holiday season, look out for others and symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, as you never know what they are going through.