How to get in the Christmas spirit when depressed

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a season where we spend precious time with loved ones, immerse ourselves in Christmas traditions and focus on being merry and bright!

But getting into the Christmas spirit when you’re depressed can be easier said than done. Whatever you’re going through, it can be difficult to put those thoughts aside and embrace the festive spirit. And seeing everyone around you having a good time can make things harder.

The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to help you feel better during the festive season.

Here are our top tips to get you through the upcoming holidays.

Avoid depression triggers

The holiday season isn’t wonderful for everyone. It can be lonely, isolating, and be incredibly

debilitating for many, including those suffering from depression. The key to managing your depression throughout the festive season is to avoid the triggers that start it, whether that’s stressful family situations, drinking alcohol, or burning the candle at both ends. After all, just because it is Christmas, doesn’t mean that you should have to put yourself in situations that make you feel rubbish or damage your mental wellbeing.

Make plans in advance

The festive season can be extremely overwhelming and many of us feel pulled in all different directions. To ensure that you have plenty of time for much-needed self-care over Christmas, make plans in advance and don’t overwhelm your diary with events. You don’t have to say yes to everything.

Avoid family conflict

Christmas time is synonymous with family conflicts, as many families are forced to spend time together when they don’t necessarily want to.

With this in mind, don’t be afraid to avoid family conflict altogether by simply not putting yourself in situations that you don’t want to be in. And, if conflict does occur, don’t participate in it. Simply walk away.

Focus on the good things in your life

Christmas is a great time to reflect on your life and the many things that you have to be grateful for, such as family, friends, a job, and a roof over your head. So, rather than focusing on things that you might not have, try to remind yourself of all the positives.

Don’t feel pressured to overspend

Gift-giving is just one small aspect of Christmas and shouldn’t be your main focus. After all, that’s not what the festive season is about. With this in mind, don’t be pressured into overspending on expensive gifts for loved ones. Spend what you can afford and don’t push yourself financially. It really is the thought that counts and your family and friends would hate for you to feel pressured or put yourself under financial stress.

Grieve if you need to

This time of year can be particularly challenging if you’re grieving. If you are mourning the loss of a friend or family member, don’t bury your feelings and feel like you have to put on a brave face, just because it's Christmas. Instead, reach out to loved ones if you’re struggling and get the support you need to help you work through your grief.

Get enough sleep

Finally, getting enough sleep and rest at this busy time of year is integral to your general health and wellbeing. So try and stick to your sleep routine as much as possible.

If you’d like to learn more about supporting others with their mental health in a professional capacity, get in touch to find out more about our counselling and hypnotherapy courses.