You think you’re happy until one day you wake up crying uncontrollably and the pain seems too much to bear. For me and a lot of other people, this feeling always seem to sneak up around the holidays. Whether it’s because of a breakup, death in the family, or financial insecurity, your joy could end up being the only thing that goes on vacation this season. However, I’m learning a few ways that makes dealing with depression during the holidays a little easier. I can’t guarantee that these will work for you, but I can guarantee that they’re worth a try.
If you’re like me then you have a guard up and admitting to someone you need them or that you need help is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Build up enough courage to admit that you can’t continue to fight alone and you’d love for them to be by your side for a few hours or a few days because you’re hurting inside. Along with telling someone you’re hurting, tell them how much you’re hurting as well. If you’re hurting to the point you haven’t showered in days, don’t be embarrassed about it. If you’re hurting to the point thoughts of suicide have danced around in your mind, don’t be embarrassed about it. If every little thing brings tears to your eyes, don’t leave that detail out. Be very thorough when you admit your pain or ask for help because it’ll help them know what they should do next.
Don’t hurt other people.
There has been plenty of times when I’ve said things out of anger, and it was anger that had nothing to do with the person. They did one wrong thing that made me think it was okay to blame everything else on them. Hurt people, hurt people but not everyone will accept that as justification. Most of the time, it will be those closest to you who you hurt and you don’t want to ruin relationships over something you said or did. Try to be extra cautious of your words and actions when you’re feeling low. However, if you do hurt someone in the process, apologize immediately and never let it marinate. Again, explain exactly how much you’re hurting and explain that it has nothing to do with them. Also, explain what they could do to help in the future so that it doesn’t happen again.
Do your favorite hobby.
It’s important that you focus on what you love to do and work on it everyday because it will give you something to look forward to. Writing this blog post for you guys is probably the only reason I’m not crying right now.
Change your bedsheets.
Changing your sheets will give you the opportunity to get out of bed and do something productive. You might not be up to leaving the house yet, but you can still do something that will get your mind of what’s causing the depression. Changing your sheets will change the energy and vibe in your room because it will be a lot more refreshing, which in turn may brighten your mood. It will also give you about an hour or so out of the bed; you won’t be able to lay in it while your sheets are in the washer!
Take a shower.
The most common sign of depression is bad hygiene. Most people who are depressed can’t even manage to get themselves out of bed so they don’t make it to the shower. If you’re depressed this season, get in the shower while your sheets are getting cleaned. I use my time in the shower to cry, pray, think, and just relax. Feeling clean can also brighten your mood.
If you’re not on medication, don’t start.
I’ve never taken medication. It was prescribed, but I never took it for a number of reasons. One reason was that I wouldn’t be myself. I’d be doped up on happy medicine but not truly happy and I didn’t want to become dependent on faux happiness. Secondly, I felt like I would be running from my problems. Using medication for your happiness is no different than using drugs and alcohol, but at least the drugs and alcohol doesn’t come with nearly as many side affects. Face yourself. Face what’s making you unhappy. Talk to God. Talk to a therapist. But if you’ve gotten this far without medication then it’s clear that you can live without it.
Remember that this too shall pass.
Nothing lasts forever. It’s true for the good stuff, but it’s true for the bad as well. Something triggered your depression but you won’t be depressed for the rest of your life; you’ll find joy in the morning. If you’re hurting over a breakup, tell that person how much you’re hurting – maybe they aren’t aware of how much pain they’ve caused you. If you’re hurting over a death of a loved one, you have to trust in your heart that God will never give you what you can’t handle and he gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. Yes, this might be a very tough battle, but know that you’re one of his very tough soldiers and it cannot and will not break you. That loved one wants to see you happy. No matter what you do, fight for that happiness because it’s worth it.
Thanks for reading!
If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression, please contact 1-800-273-8255