Tears and Yelling: Coping with Depression and Anger during the holiday season.
Updated: Dec 8, 2022
Can you believe we are in the midst of the holiday season? The holiday season is a tough time for many people who suffer from depression. The long nights and cold weather can make symptoms worse. The stress of shopping, cooking, and entertaining can be too much to handle. If you are feeling down this holiday season, there are things you can do to ease your depression.
We often think of depression as sadness and overlook its other face, anger. The demands of the holiday season can leave us feeling overwhelmed and irritable. When pulled in too many directions or taken for granted by family and friends, anger may arise. While anger may be a normal reaction to stimuli, it can also be destructive if left unchecked.
Causes of Anger during the holidays
Anger is another emotion that can have many different causes. Some common causes of anger are frustration, stress, and families that promote anger. Something as innocuous as traffic can activate anger. Or it could be the result of years of built-up resentment. Anger looks like irritability and hostility. In extreme cases, it can lead to outbursts of violence.
Dealing with our emotions - anger
Depression and anger are two of the most common emotions people feel during the holidays. Often, people are so busy focusing on family, friends, and work. That they don't have time to deal with their own emotions. This can lead to overwhelm. There are ways to manage these emotions so that you can enjoy the holidays. Here are four stages of managing your anger well:
Awareness: We do not choose to be angry, it can happen as an instinct. Get to know your anger. What activates it? How does it show up? The more we are aware of this emotion the better we will be able to manage it.
Alteration: There are things we can do to alter our response to anger activation. Breathe deeply, taking a pause, grounding our focus using the 5 senses, and closing our eyes are a few options.
Acknowledge: Think about how you want to respond. It may be helpful to acknowledge the other person's point of view first. This can serve to de-escalate the emotions on both sides and prevent an argument.
Action: Stay in the body. Anger can feel like a freight train racing through our veins. Being mindful of our breathing and heart rate may help us slow down.
Causes of Depression during the holidays
This time of year can be manna for depression. The sources of activation may be plentiful. If the bulk of the responsibilities fall on your shoulders, and not feeling supported. Unexpressed anger and feeling silenced, minimized, or ignored can activate depressive symptoms. Depression makes us feel disconnected from the family and friends that surround us.
Dealing with our emotions - depression
There are ways to cope with depression so that you can enjoy the holidays. Here are a few ways of managing your depression:
Exercise: Studies show that exercise can help manage depressive symptoms. Depression is also less likely to return in people who continue to exercise. Maintaining healthy routines can be as simple as walking daily!
Set Small Goals: With so many things to get done, to avoid overwhelm, set small goals. During the holidays set smaller, more attainable goals. Recognize/celebrate your efforts with small rewards.
Music: Studies show music can be therapeutic in that it has the ability to boost your mood/energy. Dancing, and moving our bodies can also be very beneficial.
Time with Nature/Sunlight: Research indicates the benefit of increasing your Vitamin D levels. Sunlight can help to reduce the symptoms of depression. After all, who doesn’t love a little peace and quiet?
Seek help in Decatur, GA
If you are feeling depressed and/or angry this holiday season, it's important to seek help. Talking to a trusted friend or family member can help you express what you're going through. When necessary, seek help from a professional. Depression is treatable, and there are many resources available to help you. One of the most effective treatments for depression and anger is psychotherapy.
If you are considering seeking treatment for your depression and anger. Know that there is help available to you in Decatur, GA.