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Mental Health Center

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Depression and the Holidays - Topic Overview

When you're depressed, holidays can be hard. They may bring up bad memories, or you may feel as if you're outside looking in at people who are having a good time. But try to take part in some holiday events. It may make you feel better.

Here are some tips for dealing with the holidays.

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Try to:

  • Spend time with friends, and do things you enjoy, not only things you feel you have to do.
  • Get plenty of rest. The better you feel, the better a holiday can be.
  • Think about others. Helping those less fortunate than you can make you feel better.
  • Get money off your mind. Money problems are a leading cause of holiday depression. Focus on the spirit of the season.
  • Watch what you eat and drink. Eat healthy foods, watch your portion sizes, and avoid alcohol.


  • Be realistic. Try not to build up the holiday too much in your mind.
  • Say no sometimes. People will understand if you don't do things. Wearing yourself out will make you feel worse.
  • It's okay to be sad or lonely. You don't have to be happy just because it's the holiday season.
  • Get help if you need it. Seek out family or friends for support. Community or church groups can help too. If things get bad, talk with your doctor or counselor.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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