Depression and the holidays seem to go together. Holiday expectations and stress, family dynamics, living with a chronic illness like IBD, and economic woes can all add to our feelings of depression. I'm not a psychologist, but I do know that if your depression gets to the point where you find you aren't functioning well because of it then it's time for you to talk about it with your family doctor. For the first year of my colitis diagnosis I met with a psychologist on a twice a month schedule. And I have to say it helped me immensely. Plus, my husband attended a few months of sessions with me and it helped us as a couple just as much as it did individually. But, for short-term holiday depression or blues, I'll go back to some of my suggestions for reducing stress. Be sure to schedule some "me" time. Exercise, write in your journal, meet a girlfriend for lunch or tea, or simply take a bubble bath. We all think there isn't enough time to put any aside for ourselves. But, I actually believe that unless we do put aside some "me" time and take care of our body and spirit then we won't have anything left to give to our family, friends, or co-workers. Sometimes when days are just so jam-packed that I don't get that little bit of me time I like to go to bed about 15 minutes before my husband. I grab my iPod, snuggle up in bed, and just lay there feeling my breath as it goes in and out while I listen to some soothing music. This is the basics of meditating and it is amazing for calming not only your mind but your body as well. It settles all those thoughts and all those muscles and allows me to easily fall into a better more restful sleep making me a happier and healthier person the next morning.
How your holidays go is up to you. So decide how you'd like this season to go and set out your plan.
If you have any tricks or ideas for how you manage the holidays be sure to share them with us. Maybe even consider writing your own Sharepost - just click on the "Create a Sharepost" button above and start writing.