Joy to the world! It is the holiday season… so we are all pretty happy and that seasonal depression has disappeared, right? Unfortunately depression does not care about the festivities going on around you or about the presents and food. While depression is completely disrespectful of time and events, something to keep in mind is how certain outside influences can exacerbate depression and contribute to already-existing negative thoughts and feelings.
While you are going through your seasonal depression it may be beneficial to keep an eye out on these environmental factors:
Social Media Comparison
This is the thief of joy and may increase feelings of inferiority to others and lead to thinking that we are somehow failing because we do not have what everyone else seems to have. I believe we are all well-aware that social media is not necessarily known for depicting truth, but when we are operating out of a depressed state it is easy to get into a negative cycle of have nots and “I’m not good enough”.
Do you have people in your life who just suck the life out of you with their negativity or constant need to argue? It may be time to take a break from these individuals. It is okay to prioritize your mental health and step back for a bit.
I know what I just said about stepping back from negative people, but this does not mean to isolate yourself from everyone. It is important to be around your support system, people who care about you, and who you typically enjoy being around. Let them know that you may not be yourself right now, but you still want to share space with them.
Have you been spending a bit too much time in the drive-thru line? The gut is called the “second brain” for a reason; if we are eating mostly junk food, eventually we will feel sluggish, tired, and our mood will be affected. Start with increasing your water intake and making one better food choice everyday.
These steps may seem small, but they are effective and worth trying, even if it is just a matter of developing improved habits for the future. Therapy can also be helpful in implementing a personalized plan for getting through seasonal depression. This includes understanding what depression looks like for you, developing legitimate, positive coping skills (not just band-aid techniques), and establishing behavioral goals for getting to where you want to be.
At Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, TX, we specialize in helping our clients create realistic and executable plans of action for managing symptoms of depression. Often, all that stands between you and a happier existence is a few skills that we may be able to teach you.
Learn more about the Depression Therapy we offer.
Contact us to schedule an appointment or to let us answer any questions you may have.