5 Tips for Managing Depression During the Holidays

Though the holidays can be a difficult time for those living with chronic depression during ordinary times, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely make things worse for everyone.

To help you better cope with your feelings and depressive symptoms during this chaotic time, interventional pain specialist, Jose De La Torre, MD, and the team at New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine recommend staying on top of your depression treatments and learning as much as you can about managing your symptoms effectively.

Here are five tips that can make your depression easier to manage during the holidays and beyond:

1. Plan ahead for socialization

Even if large social gatherings are discouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can start planning something more intimate now with a few loved ones and necessary safety precautions. 

Not only will pre-planning give you something on the calendar to look forward to, but it also means you will be less likely to isolate yourself from others as the holidays get closer.

Allow yourself time to focus on the positives of spending quality time with a few friends or family members, and feel gratitude for their presence in your life.

2. Accept where you are financially

The COVID pandemic has affected people both emotionally and financially at a global level. Don’t let the stress of holiday shopping lead to a worsening of your depression, and keep a healthy perspective on gift-giving.

You aren’t the only one who may find it more difficult to buy gifts this year, so there’s no benefit of putting that added pressure or guilt on yourself. Recognize that people you buy for may also be feeling the financial strains.

Consider setting a spending limit or forgoing gifts for everyone but the kids this year, and stick to a pre-set budget.

3. Know the power of no

If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, understand how powerful the word no can be. Saying yes to everything can increase your stress and lead to a worsening of your depression.

If you’re asked or expected to participate in events that don’t appeal to you or activities for which you don’t have time, be confident in the decision to protect your own time by saying no.

4. Stay focused on your health goals

Even though there’ve been many changes to people’s everyday routines in the last few months, it’s important that you stay on track with the goals you’ve set for yourself throughout the holidays.

If you are working on improving your healthy eating habits, don’t use the holidays as an excuse to overindulge. Setting yourself back on all your hard work can lead to depression long after the holidays have ended.

Spend time every day recommitting to a healthier you. If you enjoy yourself a little too much at a holiday gathering, make a point to do more exercise to burn off the excess calories and stress.

5. Consider other depression treatment options

If you’ve been following through with your depression treatment without results and have increased worries about the upcoming holidays, it may be time to consider alternative therapies for your treatment-resistant depression symptoms.

At New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine, Dr. De La Torre offers ketamine infusions to help you better manage your depression. Ketamine works directly on your brain and increases the levels of glutamate, an important neurotransmitter, to improve your overall brain function.

Unlike other depression treatments, you can see the results of ketamine infusions almost immediately. You can boost and stabilize your mood without waiting weeks, and ketamine can even help improve your overall cognitive function.

If you’re concerned about managing your depression ahead of the holidays, schedule a consultation to find out if ketamine infusions are right for you. You can call New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine, or request an appointment through the online booking system today.

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