Christmas can be a real time of conflict. The commercial and media build up focuses on images of happy families, parties, roaring fires and fabulous food, creating expectations that Christmas should be a time of wonder and merriment.
Yet the reality for many people is very different and those who don’t have a whirlwind of social occasions can feel quite lonely or disappointed in themselves. Christmas get togethers can be stressful or fractious, exposing the realities of life and relationships in a way that’s far removed from the TV adverts and festive films.
Being in the middle of winter doesn’t help. The days are at their shortest and we don’t get out much. Many people suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), also known as winter sadness or winter depression.
Tips for Christmas Depression
The following tips were compiled from advice from mental health professionals:
- If you think you may have serious or clinical depression or are already being treated for depression but still struggling, do seek help from a medical professional
- Lower your expectations and just enjoy each moment in your own way. Remind yourself that “perfect” Christmas in the media is a stylised representation which is rarely the reality
- Set budgets to stop overspending, as monetary matters can be stressful and cause low mood
- Set a limit on the number of social events to avoid becoming overtired
- Volunteer with local charities/causes working with less fortunate people e.g. homeless meals, shopping for an elderly neighbour
- Be grateful for what you have in your life and don’t brood on what other people have
- Get out and do something fun or interesting – cinema trips, brisk walks out of doors, bowling – rather than staying in and ‘vegging’ in front of the TV
- If you are religious, go to church to remain engaged with the ‘real’ meaning of Christmas
- Be positive – Christmas is an opportunity to be grateful and kind to others
- Use your support system – get in touch with friends and family
Reaching out for professional help is the first step to tackling issues such as clinical depression. Treatment doesn’t have to mean anti-depressants, there are alternative treatments available.
rTMS (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) has just been approved by NICE as an effective and safe method of treating depression in the UK. It involves no medication and is non-invasive.
SMART TMS CLINICS
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatment of depression is now available in London, at The Smart Clinics Brompton Cross (South Kensington).
For any queries or to book an appointment, please contact us:
Tel: 0345 222 5678