Don’t Let Depression Damper Holiday Cheer: Ways to Battle Seasonal Sadness

by on December 13th, 2010 at 7:00 am

The end of the year and the holidays tend to creep up on us each year, but the stores are sure to remind us to buy presents, drink eggnog, and be merry… when all we  really want to do is hide under the covers.

Why are the holidays so commonly associated with stress and irritability? Maybe it’s more than the over-commercialization and pressures of holiday obligations… and possibly the weather! Cloudy weather and shorter days equate to more time indoors, thus less time soaking up the sun’s natural vitamin D. Deficiency greatly contributes to overall sluggishness and a gloomy demeanor. If not managed, this can lead to seasonal affective disorder, which consists of low mood corresponding to seasonal changes.

While natural remedies can’t hit the mall and go shopping for you or get you out of a potluck dinner with the in-laws and their (crazy) neighbors, they can provide additional support for combating stress, irritability, and even soothing agitated tummies.

Homeopathic alumina (30C) is often used to address general lethargy and the feeling of wanting to ‘curl up and hibernate’. Kali phos (6X), a biochemic tissue salt, is an excellent nerve tonic and natural calmative to help relieve common irritability.

For a quick fix you probably have at home, try some peppermint. It has been shown to have a relaxing effect on tight muscles in the head and neck (often a tension headache trigger), in addition to relieving digestive complaints such as nausea and dyspepsia. Drink a cup of peppermint tea, or chop mint leaves and add to soups and salads.

More Tips for Handling Seasonal Depression

  • Get Moderate Amounts of Exercise – the best way to boost your brain’s natural feel good chemicals! Even with a busy schedule, make time and stick to it.
  • Think Positive. Don’t dwell on the negative aspects of a situation. Instead, psych yourself up with positive thoughts and smile – studies show beneficial effects!
  • Eat Healthy! The ensuing weight gain, hangovers, and physical malaise of eating poorly will only increase negative emotions, so enjoy food and drinks in moderation.
  • Monitor Your Mood. If mood and apathy lingers long after the holiday season – accompanied by symptoms like low energy, apathy in activities you once enjoyed, difficult concentrating or sleep problems– you may be suffering from clinical depression and should consult a doctor or a mental health professional.

MoodCalmis a homeopathic remedy that calms emotional outbursts and reduces mood swings.

2 Responses to “Don’t Let Depression Damper Holiday Cheer: Ways to Battle Seasonal Sadness”

  1. Laura Kreiger

    Dec 14th, 2010

    As a psychotherapist is sunny South Florida, I would like to note that we see our fair share of holiday/winter stress here that is not weather related. It does seem that the stress of family issues brings up many things for people and can lead to mood fluctuations on their own. Talking to a therapist can help with these issues.

  2. Ashley

    Dec 15th, 2010

    Hi Laura,

    Yes, a holistic approach addressing all factors that can lead to seasonal sadness is certainly the best approach, and behavioral therapy is a great, effective and healthy way to help handle stress and mood fluctuations.

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