The holidays bring joy, love, and happiness. The holidays bring pain, heartache, and struggle. Filled with highs and lows the holidays can be difficult to manage. It can become even more difficult if you are already combatting depression in everyday life.
I struggle with depression on a daily basis and have for several years. I’ve noticed that some of my worst lows happen around the holidays. Since my lows tend to bring thoughts of suicide, I have tried different things to combat the depression and remember the true meaning of the holidays.
Combatting Depression with Love
To me the holidays mean love. Everything we do during the holidays, we do for love. We buy gifts, visit family and friends because we love them. So my first piece of advice is to focus on love. Remember that I’m doing this because I love them. Remember that they love you.
Combatting Depression by Focusing on Others
With depression, there is a tendency to focus on oneself. While that is not wrong, it can be helpful to focus on others for a little while. Find a way to serve. Help out friends, family members, or the community. I like to use a site and an app called JustServe. It lists places that need help that you can choose to do at your comfort level.
Don’t Stop What Helped Before
Depression makes doing normal life difficult, but don’t stop. Don’t stop doing those things that help you normally. Exercise, eating well, and taking time is still necessary. Even though you may be busier during the holidays, still do what helps you.
Combatting Depression by not Judging
Finally, don’t judge yourself so harshly. Remember it’s okay to struggle and have a hard time. That’s life. Don’t compare yourself to others. You are you, not them. Give yourself a little forgiveness if you don’t do all you wanted. You are still loved.