Why Are The Holidays So Hard? 

Manage Stress And Depression During The Holidays

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and celebrating. But for many people, the holidays are also a time of stress, anxiety, and even depression. If you’re struggling to get through the holiday season, you’re not alone.

Many people with mental health issues or addiction dread the holidays. Because there is a break in routine, because there are people around you don’t necessarily want to see, because travel is stressful, and many other factors, the holidays can be an extra challenge to those battling addiction and other mental health stressors. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the reasons why the holidays are so hard and offer some tips on how to make it through without relapse— and perhaps to have a good time after all.

The Winter Blues Are Not Uncommon

One reason the holidays can be difficult is because they often involve spending time with family. If you have a tense relationship with your family, if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, or you’re battling addiction, the holidays can be tough. It’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself and take some time for yourself if you need it.

Another reason the holidays can be stressful is because of all the planning and preparation that goes into them. From buying gifts to decorating your home, there’s a lot to do. Again, it’s important to set realistic expectations and give yourself some grace if things don’t go perfectly.

Finally, the weather can also contribute to stress and depression during the winter. The shorter days and colder temperatures can make it harder to get out of bed in the morning and make it more tempting to stay indoors. Make sure you get out of the house every day, even if it’s just for a walk around the block. Exercise, fresh air, natural light, and healthy eating will all help improve your mood during this difficult time of year.

Tips For Dealing With The Winter Blues

Mostly, stress and depression around the holidays can be dealt with by doing the things you normally do to keep healthy: exercise, eat right, get out of the house, etc. You just might have to modify these things for the holiday schedule. 

Remember, your recovery is the most important thing in your life. Because addiction is a family disease and whether or not you stay sober affects your family, your recovery is important to them too. Missing a holiday party or two because they might be temptations to relapse is a small thing in the grand scheme of things. 

  • Get outside: Spend time in nature, even if it’s just a walk around the block. The fresh air and sunlight will do you good.
  • Exercise: Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. A moderate amount of exercise is the key to maintaining your mental health during the winter months.
  • Connect with friends and family, but only if they’re supportive of your recovery: Spending time with loved ones can help stave off feelings of loneliness and isolation. Plan regular get-togethers, even if they’re just virtual coffee dates or quick phone calls. 
  • Conversely, limit time with people who are not supportive: If you just can’t be around someone because they tempt you towards relapse, it might be best just to skip their company, even if it means forgoing the company of others who are supportive. 
  • Make your space cozy: Surround yourself with comforting items like blankets, pillows, and scented candles. Consider adding a few plants to your home as well—studies show that they can boost your mood and purify the air.
  • Take care of yourself: This is a hard time of year for everyone, so be gentle with yourself. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and take breaks when you need them.
  • Volunteer: This is a great way to make new and healthy friends, feel good about yourself by being useful, and sometimes it can be a good excuse to get up early and get outside. You might even find a new love or a new passion. 

How To Get Help For Addiction And Depression

If you need help for addiction and other adjoining mental disorders like severe depression and anxiety, you can give us a call at any time, and we’re looking forward to speaking with you. We can be reached at (844) 989-1451 by phone, and we are located in the Eastern Time Zone.

You don’t have to go through this alone. We’re looking forward to helping you to have your family and your life back. There are many, many people all over the world that live happy, healthy, drug free lives after being addicted to any number of substances. We can help you be whole again, and we’re looking forward to finding the best treatment options for you.