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15 tips on how to deal with depression during the holidays (Christmas 2023)

It is common for people to suffer from depression during the holiday season. Depression doesn't magically disappear just because it's Christmas. But just because you are facing depression during the holidays doesn't mean you cannot get through it. Holiday depression is common, but there are ways to cope with it.


depression during the holidays


What can cause depression or stress during the holiday season

Not having anyone to see during Christmas time 

Feeling alone 

Financial struggle 

High expectations of others 

Feeling overwhelmed by multiple tasks 

Feeling unwanted by others during the holidays

Unrealistic expectations of yourself


During the holiday season, there can be a number of factors that can cause depression or stress and there are ways to cope with it. In addition to these ten tips for dealing with depression during the holiday season you can also talk to a licensed therapist to help you manage your depression or anxiety that you might be experiencing during these challenging times. Getting help from a licensed therapist can be a great way to learn how to cope with your problems. Additionally, a licensed therapist creates a safe environment in which you can explore what is causing your depression and how it can be managed in a therapeutic setting. 


Here are 15 tips for dealing with depression during the holidays. 


  1. Practice a self-care routine. This could be a bubble bath, long shower, face mask, massage, etc. 

  2. Try meditating to reduce stress. Meditation is an excellent tool for calming your mind and body. 

  3. Exercise before you visit family or friends. Exercising will increase endorphins and get your mind in the right frame of mind before seeing family. 

  4. Start a new holiday routine. You don't have to do the same holiday routine if it is not bringing you joy. 

  5. Set reasonable financial limits for yourself. You don't have to burn your entire paycheck on holiday gifts if you cannot afford them. 

  6. Start making holiday gifts. No one will be offended if you make them a self-care basket or candle for the holidays. If money is tight they will understand 

  7. Start saying no. If you can't afford it or cannot make it/commit to it say no. 

  8. Start saying yes. That might contradict tip seven, but if you're always saying no to things you could easily do or might be enjoyable for you, practice saying yes. 

  9. Don't take on others' burdens. You are not responsible for others' actions or mistakes especially during the holidays. 

  10. Call a friend or talk to someone you trust if you are experiencing holiday depression. They can be the emotional support you need. 

  11. Take deep breaths and remember that depression and anxiety are real. What you are experiencing will pass and you will get through it. 

  12. Slow down. The holiday season is a busy season which means higher anxiety and moodiness. Slow down and realize that the holidays don't have to feel like a race. 

  13. Make time for yourself. This relates back to self-care and taking care of yourself. If you are giving everything to everyone else during Christmas what is left for you? 

  14. Be okay with changes. Someone might want to change the holiday routine or plans change last minute. Be okay with these changes.

  15. Let go of what you cannot control. We cannot control of others. We only control ourselves and this still applies at Christmas. 

holiday depression


Apply these 15 tips and see how it can help you with depression and stress during the holiday season. Christmas is stressful and it's not easy to do the holidays with depression but remember you are not the only one. If you notice that despite your efforts you are still stuck in a rut, talk to a mental health professional. There is no judgement for needing additional mental health support. Therapists are there to help people struggling with depression during the holidays not feel empty or alone. There are therapists who will be there to support you during hard times, especially if these hard times have a negative impact on your mental health.


Hopefully, these 15 tips on how to deal with depression and stress during the holiday season will be helpful to you during this time of year. Wishing you a happy holiday season and cheers to the new year! 

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