Holiday depression and stress: Statistics and how to cope
For most people, holidays are all about fun, family time, food, and leisure activities. However, too few people realize that holidays are some of the most stressful days in the entire year. This stress stems from numerous factors, such as finances, end-of-year anxieties, spending time with family members, keeping kids entertained, etc. All of it bundled together can be rather overwhelming, and this is the primary reason why the best online therapy services are sought shortly after the holidays are over. While therapy is an undeniably good way to overcome stress and depression, it is not the only way. In this article, we will show you how you can cope easier with holiday depression and stress, present some statistics, and explain exactly how holidays contribute to feeling stressed out and depressed.
What is holiday depression?
Holiday depression, also referred to as the “Holiday Blues”, involve feelings of sadness that last throughout the holiday season. Pretty much everyone suffers from Holiday Blues from time to time. While it may be perfectly normal to feel a bit down during the holidays, constant feelings of stress and depression are not healthy. Furthermore, people that are already struggling with mental health issues may find it particularly difficult to operate throughout the holiday season. Even the best online anxiety therapy can only do so much. And then there’s the fact that many people choose to forgo their therapy due to the financial constraints that holidays bring with them. Holiday depression does not look the same for everyone, but we can identify some common signs.
The common signs of holiday depression include the following:
- Feelings of tension, worries, and anxiousness
- A change in sleep pattern
- Having trouble concentrating
- Fatigue and/or tiredness
- Uncommon depression or irritability
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Lack of pleasure in normally enjoyable things
Furthermore, holidays signify a time to reflect on the past year for many people. While some individuals might celebrate and rejoice in their successes, far more people are not satisfied with their progress; And that is where most of the depression and stress come from. Some try to overcome these feelings by attending some of the best online DBT therapy courses, while others simply wait for the period to pass. Either way, the fact of the matter is that holiday blues are very real and may bring negative feelings to an otherwise festive time. To understand how big of an impact holiday depression and stress have on our lives, we need to look at some statistics.
Holiday depression and stress – statistics
Holiday blues are so common that there have been numerous studies over the years that tried to quantify exactly how much influence they have on our lives. We have compiled some of the most important statistics from various studies performed by numerous entities such as Ellevest, American Psychological Association, APA, Total Brain, Walgreens, Perrigo, Credit Karma, and TermLife2Go. Here is what we found out:
- Around 60% of people plan to cut down the cost of gifts by changing their traditions
- Almost 90% of Americans are stressed during the holidays
- Around 30% of Americans start stressing by the beginning of November
- People under 30 years of age usually report a decrease in stress during holidays rather than an increase
- Almost 40% of women are stressed about holiday costs
- About 46% of people report that the cause of their stress is other holiday shoppers
- About 50% of people try to shop online instead of in-store
- Almost 50% of Americans are worried about being able to afford any gifts
- Around 45% of people feel more stressed about the 2021 holiday season than in previous years
Understanding the numbers
So, what do the statistics tell us? First, we can observe that holidays are a huge financial sinkhole and that most people find it difficult to manage their budget. Second, due to an overwhelming number of people doing their holiday shopping, the world simply becomes a much more stressful place. It is no wonder why the best online therapy for depression programs are extremely popular before, during, and after holidays. Other relaxation techniques include prayer, reading, listening to music, and exercising. Basically, anything to get your mind off the hubbub of the holidays will do.
However, coping with holiday depression and stress can be quite difficult for most. Luckily, there are numerous ways in which you can do so.
Holiday depression and stress – How to cope
Here are some of the best ideas on how to minimize holiday blues:
- Do not go over your budget
- Acknowledge how you feel
- Try to be realistic
- Reach out for support
- Learn how to say no
- Take some time for yourself
- Set aside any grudges
- Plan ahead
- Stick to healthy habits
- Seek professional help
Ideally, you will want to give each idea a “go”. There is no singular way to “beat” the holiday blues. If there was, no one would have to feel them anymore. What we mean by this is that you need to keep trying various ideas until you figure out what works for you. Unless you have a diagnosed mental health issue, that is. While you may be able to brave the hazards of mental self-treatment, you may be placing yourself at considerable risk by trying to prescribe your own treatment. It is always best to consult with professionals and get their advice and recommendation.
With that in mind, let’s expand upon these ideas; go a bit more in-depth, if you will.
Budgeting is important
During the holidays, we are often enticed to spend much more than we actually should. That is why creating a holiday budget is so important. What you need to do is try to set aside some time before the holidays and work on your budget. Not only will this allow you to know exactly how much you can spend, but it will also eliminate any stress from spending too much.
That being said, make sure that you have enough money left for necessities. Financial difficulties during the holidays are one of the reasons why people leave therapy throughout that time, making it so that they don’t have a viable stress outlet anymore. What you also need to understand is that you can’t buy happiness with gifts, not really. It is much more important to spend the money you have on things that normally make you happy. Holidays are just like any other day, after all. You still need to ensure that your everyday needs are met.
Alternatively, you may want to cut down on costs by making homemade holiday gifts, starting a family gift exchange, or even donating to charity in someone else’s name. These actions might lessen the stress and allow you to overcome any feelings of depression that you might have.
Acknowledge your feelings
If you are feeling sad for any particular reason, allow yourself to be. You are not required to feel happy just because holiday days have arrived. It is perfectly ok to express any feelings of sadness or grief, regardless of the season. So many people fall into the proverbial trap of thinking they should feel one way or another. And that only feeds the depression and causes more stress.
Be as realistic as you can
Another thing that many people do not even realize they are doing is setting unrealistic expectations. Just because previous holidays were a “blast”, it does not mean that they have to be this time around. Some of the most common couples therapy causes are, in fact, unrealistic expectations. People change, families change, and traditions change. We are not saying that you should not hold on to traditions, just that you don’t place unrealistic expectations on them. Keep the traditions that you can and let the others go if the situation warrants it.
Reach out to others
Many of us tend to feel lonely or isolated during the holidays. In most cases, however, this is not how it is. In fact, unless you are living on a lone island, there are always people you can reach out to. If you can’t get hold of your friends or family members for support, there is plenty of online support groups that you can turn to. There, you will find companionship, support, and even love in some cases.
That being said, the best thing you can do is simply to reach out to people that matter the most to you. Talk to your friends or family members, and let them know what you are feeling. There are many advantages of online counseling but nothing can replace a heart-to-heart talk with a loved one. Alternatively, you may do some volunteer work or do something that will benefit others. This is a great way to meet new friends, broaden your horizons, and have a lot of fun in the process!
Learning how to say “no”
On the flip side, you may find yourself in a situation where you have so much “support” that you find yourself overwhelmed. This is where you need to learn to say “no” from time to time. Your friends and family members will understand if you simply cannot find the time to attend every single activity. Learning how to say no is one of the fundamental principles of managing stress and depression during holidays and is an excellent way of overcoming relationship anxiety as well. We are not saying that you should say no to everyone. There are times when doing so is not beneficial to your mental health. But you need to be careful with saying yes to too many people.
Set aside some time for yourself
Basically, take a breather. Even spending as little as 15 minutes on your own, without any distractions around you, may provide you with enough refreshment to handle anything holidays have to throw at you. Find an activity that you enjoy and simply take a break from it all. It does not matter what the activity is; what matter is that you enjoy it. If you feel like taking a walk and simply gazing at the stars, do it.
The importance of planning ahead
The holiday rush is very real. Many people become so stressed during this time because everything takes longer than it “should”. That is why it is very important to understand that this is going to happen and plan ahead. Take some time to set up a calendar of activities, shopping, meetings, and gatherings. Try to do most of your shopping online if you can manage it. Make the shopping list early and procure any ingredients you need ahead of time. That way, when the holidays do come around, you will be prepared.
Do not disregard healthy habits during holidays
One of the most exciting aspects of the holiday season is that it is suddenly a “free-for-all” time, meaning that you can overindulge to your heart’s content. However, this way of looking at the holidays is inherently wrong. Yes, you might want to give yourself some slack, but overindulgence is never a good thing. What you want to do is maintain your healthy habits even during the holidays. This means that you still need to get plenty of sleep, eat healthy meals, avoid excessive alcohol/tobacco/drug use, and limit your exposure to social media. The latter can be particularly important.
Professional help is always there if you need it
Even if you do your best to manage holiday depression and stress, there’s a chance that it is simply not enough. And that is alright because there’s help readily available. Talking to a professional therapist is best, of course, but even talking to your doctor can help alleviate the feelings of stress and depression.
If you want to find and compare the best online therapy programs, there’s no place better for it than Consumer Opinion Guide. Our knowledge database is there to help you find the balance and manage to go through the holidays without too many issues!