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Tips for Enjoying Holidays with Anxiety or Depression

The holidays are supposed to be a time where everyone is happy and cheerful. But for some people, it can be the most stressful time of the year due to anxiety or depression. If you’re battling either of these conditions, these tips for enjoying the holiday season can help you regain clarity and strengthen your mental health.


When you are suffering from anxiety or depression this holiday season, try to:

  • Stay in contact with friends and family members who can provide you with emotional support
  • Actively participate in activities, such as volunteering, to keep yourself busy with a sense of purpose
  • Get plenty of rest so that your energy levels remain high
  • Take care of your physical health by eating well and exercising regularly
  • Stay organized so tasks aren’t overwhelming at home or work
  • Set realistic expectations for yourself and others around you
  • Have a plan in place so that if symptoms become more severe, they can be addressed quickly

How to Unwind this Holiday Season

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

With so much happening during the holidays, it can be very easy to become overwhelmed. By understanding your limits, you can be sure not to over schedule yourself. Remember, it is okay not to accept every holiday invitation you receive. Eliminating traditions that cause you more stress than joy can help relieve some anxiety you may be having.   

Try to avoid large crowds where you can, and do not shy away from telling friends or family members that you need a break. Remember that you are not alone, and there is always someone to talk to if the holiday season becomes more than you can handle on your own.

Take Time for You

Be sure to start preparing for the holidays well in advance, but incorporate self-care into your plans. For example, taking the time to relax, reading a book, or meditating can all help lower feelings of anxiety or depression. Also, don’t forget to make time for your hobbies, even if it’s only for a few minutes during the day.

Furthermore, while it may be tempting during the holidays, avoid looking for relief in alcohol or other drugs, as this may further trigger your anxiety and depression.

What Leads to Holiday Depression and Anxiety?

Many factors such as excessive commitments, financial pressure, travel, and unrealistic expectations can cause anxiety and depression to worsen during the holidays. In addition, some people may feel anxious or depressed during the winter holidays due to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sometimes referred to as seasonal depression.

Prepare a Budget 

When feeling financial pressure over the holidays, it is best to create a spending plan. When budgeting for the holidays, be sure to include things like gifts, travel plans, parties, and any other cost you may incur during the season. By coming up with a spending plan, you can mitigate many surprises and stay in control of your spending.

Plan Your Travels Carefully

Holiday travel can bring added stress and contribute to your depression and anxiety. Try to avoid traveling during the most hectic times, such as when there is a lot of traffic on the road. While holiday travel may be unavoidable for some, staying with loved ones who live close by can help reduce your stress and travel anxiety. When traveling over the holidays, always plan early. Allow plenty of time for organizing and packing before your trip, and be sure to double-check all reservations before you go.

Contact Mile High Psychiatry

Mile High Psychiatry is dedicated to helping you become the best version of yourself through a combination of psychotherapy and cognitive tools. If you or a loved one is dealing with anxiety or depression this holiday season, book an appointment with Mile High Psychiatry here or call us at (855) 270-4471.

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