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Castellanos Family Practice 

The holidays are a great time for relaxing with family, exchanging gifts, and enjoying good food and drink. However, the festive season isn't a happy time for everybody, with depression affecting about 6.7% of the American population each year. If you're feeling blue, the tips below will help to improve your mood.

1. Don't set your expectations too high

Many of us feel a lot of pressure to have the 'perfect' holiday season, but that just isn't realistic. Comparing your experience to the kind of ideal you see in festive movies might make you feel like you're not good enough. Instead of trying to make everything how it's 'supposed' to be, try to accept things the way they are.

2. Plan Your Days

Having a set routine is important when it comes to dealing with depression, but this can go out of the window during the holidays. If you have a lot of time off work, you may find yourself alone with uncomfortable thoughts and not much to do.

Making plans and sticking to them will help you to feel better. Set up a plan for each day and include activities like seeing friends, visiting new places, relaxing at home and doing Christmas crafts. Having a routine to fall back on might help you on days when you feel down.

3. Reach Out for Support

Although socializing can be a big cause of stress during the holidays, it’s also an essential part of staving off depression. Having supportive family and friends to talk to about your feelings will make you feel much better, and stops you from becoming isolated.

4. Get Enough Exercise

Think twice before you sit down to another Christmas TV marathon. Spending too much time indoors will make you feel lethargic and bored, so getting some exercise is a great idea. A brisk walk is often all it takes to improve your mood and start feeling motivated again. It can also be a good excuse to take a short break from socializing!

Depression is a very serious illness and if you find yourself struggling with more than the typical holiday stress and you're having thoughts of self-harm, it's important to seek help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a hotline available 24/7 and an essential resource to connect you with trained professionals when your primary health doctor is unavailable.

If you or someone you know struggles with depression regularly and not just during the holidays, contact Castellanos Family Practice. Our experienced and compassion physicians are ready to help you take control of your depression. Call (626) 915-9992 to schedule an appointment today.

4 Ways to Avoid Depression During the Holidays