As the holiday season unfolds, it can cast contrasting shadows of joy and challenge, especially for those experiencing depression. Recognizing this, let’s explore ways to manage depression during these times with compassion and understanding.
Understanding Depression’s Many Faces
Depression doesn’t wear the same mask for everyone. While some may find their joy waning, others might feel an overwhelming fatigue or encounter restless nights. Feelings of sadness or irritability are also common companions of depression. Whatever form it takes, I want you to know that you are seen, and you are not alone on this journey.
Three Compassionate Strategies for the Holidays
1. Gaining Insight: The Role of Behavioral Therapy
The first step in managing depression is building insight into what may be contributing to these feelings. Behavioral therapy is instrumental in this process. It helps us discern which of our behaviors may inadvertently feed into the cycle of depression. This season, let’s become detectives of our own lives, identifying which behaviors may be making depression more significant and which behaviors may be improving symptoms of depression.
2. Movement as Medicine
Our emotions actually reside in our bodies and our bodies experience an emotion before we “know” what that emotion is, cognitively speaking. Finding a form of physical activity that resonates with you can be a powerful tool against depression. Whether it’s a gentle stroll, a rejuvenating yoga session, or the cathartic release of a boxing class, movement can help us process and work through our emotions, contributing to our mental health.
3. Embracing Self-Compassion
Finally, let’s talk about self-compassion, particularly when depression clouds our self-view. Self-criticism often exacerbates feelings of depression, so it’s crucial to practice self-compassion. This threefold approach involves acknowledging our struggles without judgment, recognizing that suffering is a shared human experience, and asking ourselves, “How can I be kind to myself right now?”
The Invitation: Self-Kindness and Connection
This holiday, I invite you to treat yourself with the same kindness you would offer a dear friend. Allow yourself moments of rest, reach out when you need support, and remember that your value is not diminished by your struggles.
If the holidays are stirring up feelings of depression, please know that we at Anchored Counseling Company are here to walk with you. Through warmth, trust, and an invitation to connection, we believe in your capacity to navigate these times and find moments of peace and clarity.
What It All Comes Down To: Lighting the Path Together
Depression may be a part of your journey, but it does not define your destination. With these strategies and the support of a compassionate community, you can manage the symptoms of depression and find moments of joy this holiday season.
Here’s to a holiday season that honors all parts of our experience, the highs, and the lows, with compassion and care.
Becoming anchored in hope,
Affirmation of the Day:
“I allow myself the grace to move through the holidays at my own pace, honoring my needs and celebrating small joys.”
At Anchored Counseling Company, Laura leads with a commitment to support each individual’s journey toward better mental health, backed by a team of expert and empathetic therapists. The environment they cultivate is one of encouragement and positive affirmation, with a trauma-informed perspective. The team at Anchored Counseling Co. embraces the essential dignity of all individuals, offering therapeutic interactions filled with kindness and understanding. They operate with the belief that all clients are naturally equipped to achieve lasting and significant transformation. If you’re seeking a therapist attuned to your personal journey, call us at 615.510.3797 or visit our website to get started.