Dr. Laura Saunders, a clinical psychologist at Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living, talks about why depression is common around the holidays and what you can do if you’re feeling depressed.
Sadness around the holidays is often related to not just loss but feelings of inadequacy. It may appear that other families are perfect and yours is not. Losses become more poignant around the holidays, when you are remembering a time when your family was happier and together.
But here are some tips from Saunders about how to fight those feelings of depression:
- Acknowledge why you feel bad and make the connection to the loss or holiday memory. Without making a connection to the specific trigger the feelings of sadness can become more pervasive and infiltrate other areas of your life.
- Reach out to someone (friend, family member) and make a connection. Don’t wait for someone to call you or invite you.
- Do something that you know makes you feel better (exercise, self-care, music). Take active steps to take control over your mood and what contributes to feeling sad.