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Handling Holiday Depression During the Pandemic

Holiday depression is a well-known phenomenon that strikes many people each year. 2020 is expected to be especially rough for many more as the combination of depression, and pandemic fatigue hits them like an emotional hammer. The feeling of loneliness that drives holiday depression is amplified by our inability to hang out with friends and family. All this means that this year, more than any other, it’s essential that we find ways to connect by creating new traditions with our friends and family not reliant on physical proximity. What we can’t do is pretend that this year is going to be like any other before it.

How Will I Know If I Suffer From Holiday Depression?

As the name implies, the primary indicator of holiday depression is a sense of sadness and loneliness that doesn’t relent throughout the season. This sensation can lead to additional problems that indicate you’re deep in its grips. Common symptoms of holiday depression include:

  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Ongoing fatigue or exhaustion
  • Persistent feeling of loneliness
  • Unable to enjoy normal activities
  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Withdrawal from those around you

These signs will be familiar to those who experience depression during the holidays and are indications that steps need to be taken to lift this sense of sadness. They tend to intensify around social events, gift-giving, family meals, and similar activities.

What Is Pandemic Fatigue?

Have you ever attempted to make some meaningful life changes, such as increasing your activity level or changing your eating habits? If you have, you’ve likely noticed that it becomes more difficult to maintain the more time that passes. Falling off the proverbial bandwagon tends to happen by the six-month mark. When professionals refer to pandemic fatigue, this is the experience they’re referring to. We’ve all been social distancing, wearing masks, avoiding gatherings, and generally completely overhauling our day to day activities. Many people are getting mentally and emotionally exhausted from keeping these behaviors and are becoming less cautious as a result.

How Do I Overcome These Difficulties During The Holiday Season?

The pandemic has already left many of us feeling isolated from one another, and the onset of the holiday season is likely to only make this experience more prominent. Given this combination of events, it’s important that we take steps to create new ways to connect with our friends and family. Social situations are important to the health of the human animal, but there are ways to stay isolated while still interacting with the world around us. Among them are virtual calls, phone calls, online gaming, and of course, careful social gathers where we maintain social distancing.

The best way of handling these conditions is to seek help from a professional who can help you make decisions that are suitable to your lifestyle and behaviors. Give the team at Family Psychiatry & Therapy a call today. We can make you an appointment with one of our practitioners and any of our four locations throughout New Jersey.

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Helene A. Miller / And Other Providers
Family Psychiatry and Therapy brings compassion, understanding, and skilled care to patients throughout New Jersey. Our team of mental health professionals focuses on providing a positive and uplifting experience that aids our patients in facing life’s toughest challenges.