We’ve all heard the warnings about an increase in suicide and depression during the holidays. For most of us, this time of year is all about celebrations, family gatherings and taking time to reflect on the wonderful things we’re grateful to have in our lives. Unfortunately all of this jubilation can also highlight issues for those dealing with any kind of loss or life struggle. And even if you have every reason to rejoice in your circumstances, the whirlwind of holiday activity can be extremely stressful on its own. Throw in financial issues, a month or two of less than healthy eating, fewer hours of daylight and you’ve got the recipe for a case of the holiday blues.
While recent research shows December has the lowest rates of suicide compared to the rest of the year—spring and fall have the highest—depression can be debilitating and it certainly makes it harder to get into the holiday spirit. According a recent study of depression among Latinos in the U.S., “Women were twice as likely as men to experience high levels of depressive symptoms.” And, “First-and second-generation Hispanics/Latinos were significantly more likely to have symptoms of depression than those born outside the U.S. mainland.” Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, here are 10 ways to ward off depression during the holidays.
- Give Yourself a Break
When your to-do list is even longer than usual and you’ve got work parties, family dinners, out-of-town guests, friends’ parties and gift buying added on to your usual load it can be totally overwhelming. Make sure to carve out a little quiet time for yourself. Do some meditating, take a nap or just breathe deeply for a few minutes each day.