5 Tips to Get Through the Holidays While Living With Depression
The holidays are filled with everything that are supposed to bring you joy, right? The picturesque aesthetic of families and friends gathering around the table for meals, kids running around the neighborhood in their costumes with buckets and bags in hand ready to fill up with candy, or maybe a tree decorated with sparkling lights with presents tucked neatly underneath fill your heart bigger than the Grinch's heart when he finally decided he liked people. We've been singing "tis the season to be jolly" when the reality is that most people aren't feeling that at all. I can raise my hand and say that Seasonal Depression has been the unwelcomed guest for many holidays. I know I'm not alone. Here are some ways I've been able to deal with that during the holidays.
Seems simple enough, right? Well it can be a struggle if your depression manifest itself into restlessness. Bottom line is that rest is what you need. Breathing exercises or meditation help tremendously when it comes to calming me down. I rest as frequently as needed. A nap during the day or establishing a wind down routine at night can help condition your body to rest.
Asking for help
I tend to get irritable when I'm depressed. "I'll do it myself" is a phrase that leaves my mouth easily because at the time my frustration takes over and it seems much easier to handle situations by myself. Is it easier though? The best thing you can do is relinquish control so that you can focus on what matters - your mental health. Mistakes get made, task seem more difficult and overall the depression deepens when you go at everything alone. Get yourself some help with task or seek professional help from therapist should you need someone to talk to professionally. Therapy for Black Girls is an excellent resource if you're looking for a therapist.
Exposure to sunlight has been thought to increase the brain's release of serotonin, which is associated to mood boosting and making a person feel calm and focused. Taking a walk around the neighborhood or simply sitting outside for a moment can help expose you to some fresh air and a mood boost. Don't forget your sunscreen though.
Spend Time With Family
Surround yourself with love. Depression makes you feel like you don't want to be around anyone. Feeling withdrawn is common. However, if you can take a moment to visit a friend, spend some time with family or even a zoom chat or Facetime session with a loved one, it may serve as a reminder that you are loved and not alone.
Be Kind to yourself
You will have your good days and bad days. Give yourself some grace. Speak nicely to yourself. Speaking affirmations to yourself such as "I am getting better and better each day" can do wonders for you if you speak it and believe it.
We sent an email to our tribe and asked if they had any other advice for those having a hard time right now. Here's some advice they had to share:
"Get out and walk, sit or lay in nature. Keep a journal! Sing in the shower when using motheressentials! Take up a hobby! VOLUNTEER. Donate some time, talent or skills. Pray, meditate, dance. Learn a new language or skill. Travel. Try something new and different (at least once). Visit a Museum. Talk to friends. Get therapy in person or thru theletherapy. Talk to your doctor. Find a BIPOC therapist. Call 911 if suicidal.