4 Tips to fight Depression during the Holidays – Mental Health Help with Kati Morton | Kati Morton


Hey everybody Today I want to talk with you
about depression and the holidays. Why is it so tough and then
what are some tips we can do to cope. So the holidays, they’re upon us,
whether we’re ready or not. And for those of us who
suffer from depression, this can be a particularly difficult
time for us. I mean lets be honest, it’s a really difficult and stressful
time for people in general. And the thing that makes it really difficult
and I find makes our depression worse, or even gives people what we call seasonal
affective disorder, or SAD, is that all of the greeting cards, all of the commercials promote
giving these lavish gifts and everything’s amazing
and everybody’s happy and everybody looks perfect
and everything is just perfect and we don’t have to worry about anything, and no one’s life lives up to that. And so often times we see this stuff,
whether we admit it or realize it or not the media is pounding us with different
things of expectations of what we should be wearing,
what we should be giving, how much we should be giving, and
all this stuff that we really can’t live up to, because no one’s life is perfect, right? So it’s really a difficult time. Some things in our life, especially being around family, can
exacerbate other symptoms. We can feel more depressed because
it’s dark out earlier, and the weather’s kind of crappy,
and we just feel kind of crappy. We may get sick. There are a lot of things. I always call it the perfect storm with
my clients, because I’m like, well it’s family, and it’s spending money,
which is stressful and the weather’s really shitty, and you know there’s all these
things going on. So know that your feeling about the
holidays and the depression getting worse
is very normal. But there are some things we can do to
preemptively strike, and to help us cope with the holidays. Now the first one being: plan ahead, prepare. Get your team together, set up some extra sessions with
your therapist. There are these amazing things called
light boxes that we can get. They had them at Cosco last year, but they probably have them at any store,
even online on Amazon, that you can put at your desk
if you work indoors, for work, and it just shines light
and it gives your body that vitamin D. It kind of makes your body think it’s
getting sunshine. So those of us who struggle
because of the seasonal affective disorder, it can really really help. We might want to, you know,
set up some extra session, join a group,
get together with friends, get our support team together, so that if things do get rough,
we already have it in place, we’re already doing things to
preemptively strike, so that we nip it in the bud. Another thing that we can do is: get out, volunteer, get excited
about the holidays in a new way. It’s really really hard for us to stay
down and out and feel shitty, when we’re helping others,
when people are excited to see us, when we’re giving back. I often find my clients when they’re
struggling the most with depression, they’re isolating. They don’t want to leave their house. They don’t want to see anybody. But think about how much we could brighten
someone else’s day, just by spending a day at the food bank,
helping sort food. Or at a soup kitchen making pancakes. It could be any number of things and just knowing that we’re doing good
for other people, can help bring us out of the depression
a little bit. And if anything, it can help give us
perspective, on our own life and our own struggles. Now the third thing that we can do is: if we’re at a party,
and we find it really difficult and it’s really hard to talk to people and it’s really hard to engage and we find ourselves kind of slinkying
back into a dark hole, maybe take a break. While isolating all the time is
not good for us, it’s not something we want to do, there are time when we need to take
a break. Sometimes big parties can feel
really overwhelming, and there may be a lot of questions
people are asking, that we don’t want to answer, or people don’t understand what’s going
on with us. But taking a break, going to the bathroom, maybe just sitting down for a second, breathing,
breathe and reboot. It’s ok to step out of a scenario that’s
feeling overwhelming, so that we can come back,
and maybe enjoy ourselves even more. And I made some notes, as always. And the last thing that I want to
remind us all is: setting reasonable and achievable goals. Because often like I said, the media is bombarding us with all this
what’s expected, these expectations of what
holiday looks like and feels like, when we look and feel different. But setting some expectations for ourself
and our holiday, what we would really like to have happen, making sure they’re reasonable, can make us feel more engaged
in the holidays. It can help us feel happier about
our circumstances. It can remind us all that we have, instead of letting media remind us of
things we don’t have. I mean most people don’t get cars with
huge red bows on them from their husbands, right? That’s not real life. So setting some reasonable and achievable
goals can just help us enjoy our own holiday for what it is and
where we’re at. And if you have any helpful tips, everybody’s different, everyone has different experiences
and things that they’ve done in the past. Share you’re content below. Let us know what’s worked,
what hasn’t worked, things that are helpful to you or
something your therapist has said to you, ’cause we’re a community working together, and the more we help one another, the more people we’ll reach and the more
people will realize that feeling depressed during the holidays, or having their depression get worse, is not a terrible, horrible,
un-overcomable thing. It’s something that many people go through, and we will get through it together. And thank you so much for checking back. As always, don’t forget to subscribe
to my channel. I put out videos all the time and you
don’t want to miss them. And if you’re needing some extra support
during this holiday season, hop on katimorton.com There are great tools and a great
community there to help support you, and get you through. And I’m on every social media site
imaginable, so if you want to find me,
I will be there. And everyone out there, have a wonderful and happy holidays. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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Comments

  1. Great video and topic.  Firstly, I think that it is hard for us to admit that we aren't happy and don't enjoy Xmas and the whole holiday season.  But if everyone who struggles admits that they do, we will realise that we are not alone.  Thinking about how we will handle specific situations surrounding the holiday season in our individual circumstances can help.  Usually many of the situations are fairly easy to predict, and we just try not to think about them, but if we can plan a little, that can really help.  Easier said than done at times.  Volunteering is a good suggestion.  Another thing that can help is to think about something that you can do, such as reading a book or listening to a CD, that will be 'normal', as opposed to going on the internet, watching TV, listening to the radio or going to the shops, where we will not be able to 'get away from' the seasonal messages.  Also, there are people out there who understand and will not judge you for not feeling 'happy' during the holiday season, so if you know that some of your friends are likely to be struggling too, you can support each other, and help each other to stay positive. 

  2. Hello! I struggle with anxiety and depression and have had many holiday fights and disappointments.
    My therapist suggested I celebrate the holidays with my parents on a day other than the holiday. My parents agreed to this and I feel good about it. It has taken quite a bit of pressure off.

  3. I'm about to start volunteering at a local food bank. Actually doing it as a means to rejoin the workforce after being on disability but fighting off the holiday blues is an added benefit… Wednesday is my first day.

  4. Especially since im not religious, I think of the holidays as a time to celebrate the family and friends that We have in our lives. Instead of focusing on the other more commercial aspects. I also try to take the time off from school to try and make a lot of me-time. I think its important not to overcommit yourself to too many partys or events and really use this time of from work and school as time to focus on what you love. For example i really enjoy reading and writing and use this time to read a lot of the books ive always wanted to. The key is to try to look forward to things during the holidays instead of dreading them. But i know its not that easy! Good luck everyone!

  5. My parents freaked out when they found out about my self harm and expect me to talk Bout it to them but I hate doing that. How do I find the strength to tell them I relapsed without them freaking out

  6. I want to subscribe to the website, but I don't get the confirmation email, no matter how many times I click to resend me one… 

  7. Hi Kati!  I'm trying to get through university and I have Aspergers.  My university has a disability office, but even if I register with them, I don't know what kind of "accommodations" I would be able to get help with.  Having Aspergers there are a variety of challenges, but none of them are academic.  They are things like getting to class, group projects, anxiety, and random things that most teachers think are just "lazy" qualities like feeling overstimulated and accidentally falling asleep.  When I try to explain Aspergers to teachers they usually just ask me what I want or need, and I never have a concrete answer.  It is frustrating.  Any thoughts?  🙂

  8. For Vitamin D, eat fish. It's very high in Vitamin D. You can also hop onto Vitamin D supplements (with permission from your team) just for the season. It's important to set boundaries with your family and communicate with them.

    My imediate family knows that I can't stay at my Grandma's house because it's too small (two bedroom, one floor house). It brings up my anxiety and I can't be comfortable there. They don't force me to go and tell the rest of my family that i just couldn't make it. I also try and busy myself by starting a new video game or book. It helps keep my mind off things. 

  9. I like to really focus on the silly fun parts of Christmas like listening to carols, decorating my tree, making gingerbread houses for people etc etc. it takes my mind off of the stressful parts like seeing family and parties and all the parts of this time of year that can be hard.

  10. Hi all!
    This is off topic but my therapist told me about a free DBT app for phones. I downloaded it today and it's cool. Trying to drill these skills into my head So maybe it will help. 🙂
    Just wanted to share this option to anyone who is interested. 🙂

  11. Thank you Kati! This video is on point. I have been volunteering a lot and it has had such a positive impact on me. I feel like it gives me a purpose that I have never felt before! Your videos are awesome! Xoxo

  12. I hate the holidays.
    Xmas is the time I get to remind all my family how much of a screw up I am.
    Oh and my dad died just before Xmas a few years back so there's that little anniversary.

  13. #katifaq. When I was restricting a lot, I found I could exercise a lot as well. But now that I'm in recovery, I find it more of a struggle to exercise. Why does this happen? Thanks!

  14. Im not triggered by the holidays. The family I get together with has been understanding of my recovery. Its hard to break that binge/purge cycle from Halloween to New Years but I still need to take care of myself. Even more when its naturally more stressful. Are you taking a break from vids Kati? For the holidays..Please give me fair warning 🙂 You help me more than I can say.xo

  15. I have SAD but it's hard to get outside because I tend to be busy with school and other stuff. Either that, or I'm just too tired all the time. But then I end up being more tired and, for lack of a better word, lazier, because of the SAD. It's a vicious cycle that I don't know how to get out of. Tips or advice?

  16. Hi Kati! I am sick and tired of my eating disorder and other such afflictions. I want to get better, but I am still quite young and to get help my parents have to be involved. I tried to make myself feel better around two years ago with the help of my family, and it did not end well. My parents and my sister were not very understanding, and my therapist was very spiteful and rude towards me. She would roll her eyes and get frustrated with me at the drop of a hat. Is there a way that I could speak with a therapist without her letting my parents know anything I tell her, such as my habits which would be considered dangerous like binging and purging? I would really like to try to get better before I get worse, also while making sure my parents are not involved as much as they were before. Thank you!

  17. What about depression following exams and just graduating from high school? ( I'm in australia) I've been kept busy all year and now I feel lost

  18. Hi I wanted to comment about my thoughts on Christmas! It terrifies me it's my idea of hell because there is so much of my family here and I feel suffocated. And bossed around. This year because of so many fall outs not related to me my mum and dad and me are having Christmas dinner at a hotel where they've booked a few nights and my sisters don't know yet and I can do what I WANT for once in my life! They have their own families now so yes! 😄 my cat will finally get some peace this year!

  19. Thanks for this great video.  It was just a little over a year ago that I had one of the largest bouts with depression that almost took me from this world.  It is during this time of year that I need to be super vigilant in my maintaining good and honest self care.  Thanks again for this video, I imagine it will be repeated a time or two over the next few months.

  20. They first thing I thought of when you were talking about the commercials and managing expectations were those stupid commercials where the husband buys the wife a car. And lo, you mentioned it specifically!  Xmas is hard for me because I never have any money but my dad always buys us nice things, and even though he always tells my sis and I not to bother buying him anything, I still feel guilty because of his sister, who has always espoused the importance of duty to family and at least trying. >_<

  21. Question, Why do we struggle to survive? I mean, it feels like life is such a cliche because we struggle to live and support ourselves while in the long run, we know we are going to die any way.

  22. i dont like holidays because they are like checkpoints in my life that remind me that. A im still behind by american standards. B have no car. C. have no girlfriend . D. do not have my own place. i live with my parents. E have pretty much no friends. all my friends. are in college in another county where i use to go to college before i had to withdraw for money reasons. the only thing that keep me happy in a sense is a my job. i like having my own income And. b. when im dead i will be in heaven

  23. My youngest son passed away from an unknown enlarged heart at 20 on July 12. I made it known that i would not be celebrating and my two older sons also were not interested. Instead i came to the place my sons are staying for uni. I told them i would go to my room when i needed to be alone and that i would probably cry a lot. They decided to cook a turkey (They never have ) and no gifts or cheer. I brought his urn to be with us. I agree being able to say in advance what I'm doing has kept my anxiety down. I was with my sons a bit now im in my room and just watched your video to regroup. Thanks.

  24. I have always been very engaged when it comes to Christmas. Even the dog gets decked and by this time the Christmas tree would have been in place and all the gifts wrapped and underneath it by the first week of December. Ii have always suffered with depression but managed to get on with the Christmas festivities, should I force myself and drag myself kicking and screaming to go shopping and get a tree?.

  25. Hello sorry I don't domain english yet Actually I was feeling sad and nothing make me happy because my father force me to eat meat and I want stop he said than if I stop of eat meat he expel me of school and day by day I fell so more depressed what I may do to solve this problem thank you by the time

  26. I am the scape-goat of my family. I was  just told I am not invited to the family dinner and my parents, (who I have to live with since I don't make enough to afford to get my own place), (This is after my abusive husband left me homeless, and without a car, took all my savings, took all the belongings and put all the bills in my name). I got zero empathy from any one in my entire family. I still don't. Everything I do is belittled and or sabotaged to fail or not be able to finish it, such as school.  My parents are leaving me alone for Thanksgiving. I said I don't think that's very nice. And they said too bad, we don't care (In effect). I am the target of abuse in my sick family and always have been, I just didn't know it till recently. I did not understand what was going on. I married 2 abusive men also. I am now divorced and my 3 children are grown and out of state. I cannot see them. I don't have the money for a plane ticket or a  car that could make it very far. I am on a  very small income, $700.00 a month, who can live on that? If I get a job, SSI will even it up, so I will not make any more than I do now. All I get is SSI, which is below poverty level. I am going to college and doing well, so I can get out of this and earn enough to provide for myself. I was a stay home mom all my life and was left with nothing; no home, no money, no career, no savings, no assets, at all. My question is what can I do since my entire family has rejected me? My kids are on good terms with me, but live out-of-state and cannot see me very much. I have no significant other. I keep meeting/attracting abusers and predators. I can't seem to connect with kind, people who want a mutually respectful and caring relationship. What do I do? Holidays make me want to kill myself!!! I used to love them and did all the baking, decorating, activities, shopping, wrapping, crafting and so forth. Now, I am sitting alone by myself for all holidays. It has been 4 years since abusive husband #2 left me. I don' t know what to do. I cannot lower my standards. I see these men I date. I see what they are. I see how they treat me. No empathy. Fake interest in me and my needs, Fake pretending to be nice and to care . when that is the furthest from the truth. I cant make friends. I dk what to do. I don't want to kill myself or go back to drugs, but how do people my age meet others? Dating sites are horrible in my experience. At school the guys are way too young. The men who pursue me are abusive or don't know how to have a relationship or don't want to work or pot-heads or drunks. PLEASE someone give advice: I don't have money for a good therapist. It seems there is no help without money. Many people are left to die in a gutter because they have been abandoned and don't have money. There should be programs where there is real help for people in this much need, and this traumatized, but there is not in our society. You say u want to die and they lock u up like u r a criminal. u r forced to take un needed meds and treated as though u r a criminal. it is very close to being in jail.

  27. Last October, 2015, I ended my long term abusive realtionship and then in January, my mother died. This year, I have stopped feeling empty about the double whammy and thinking about where to fly to after New years. And, maybe I will meet someone nice. My family has family feuds every year and I can't be around it.

  28. I've found that Hypnosis can help with the holiday blues and other forms of depression… http://depression.hypnomart.com

  29. My grandma passed from cancer and the holidays were her favorite thing. Ever since her passing I hate the holidays. I hate half of my family, I'm the black sheep, so I stopped going to family gatherings all together. After I stopped going to the events my anixety has improved a bit so has my depression.

  30. Have to spend another miserable Christmas with my sister again.Same thing every year and am sick of it.Wish it was different next year but probably end up at my sisters again next year😔🌲

  31. I know the true reason for the season but with loss, expectations and family holiday gathering plans I find myself in the jaws of depressive hell.

  32. My dad just got fired, my mom has a low salary job, Im under weight, all my friends except for 1 moved up into the north, and that one friend i still have is in another school, I live in florida so i have no snow to enjoy, the only sport i want to pick up is to expensive for me, there's no car shows near me, we don't have enough money for Christmas, i'm getting bullied for IDK why, the rest of my family is up in Ukraine, Hungary, and Russia, i need a root canal that we don't have enough money to pay for, and im sick. I'm enjoying my last couple days internet or maybe even power. I'm in constant pain mentally and physically.
    All that's keeping me from suicide is the internet and waiting till im old enough for a car. ( 1991 Nissan 180sx ) $7000, and most importantly, MASSIVE PAIN.
    Show less

  33. I get more moody around the holidays. I feel people become more full of shit around this time and it fumes me. I realize my family sucks. I was going to go to the dinner but I decided to sit around and eat pizza.

  34. I have bpd . depression and anxiety .the problem is I don't like therapy I tried it …..it hasn't worked for me .can I get better on my own

  35. After Christmas, my wife goes through stress. I find (for some unknown reason), restaurants are a trigger. So we do take-out — works much better. (and cheaper)

  36. Kati my kids were kidnapped by my x and by my family just before Christmas many many years ago. they are old now but just saw on social media my grown kids step mother texted my kids and called herself mom after all these years, and they never talk to me or respond to me back, the real mom. that's why l hate Christmas. I don't have a family any more. two of my exes are deceased and one I just divorced who was a lying narcissist who kept me away from my kids. I missed all their weddings and my grandchildrens childbirths. Christmas.. bag humbug. try and top that.

  37. What about feeling like this during the summer, like reverse S.A.D.? I see everyone having so much fun and feel like i'm not having enough fun (the pressure to be enjoying it at least) or just the lack of structure and isolation and the blinding heat making me not want to leave my house really makes summer awful for me.

  38. Holidays means for me a reminder: forever alone, no friends, no money, shitty life…jjmmm. Christmas is great, but my life suck.

  39. I'm a teen. And for as long as I could remember everyone was so happy during Christmas except me. I never understood the Christmas spirit and never wanted toys. I just wanted to be alone. I feel so much pressure to be happy and I just can't for some reason. I never feel happy when it snows or when the sky is blue without a single cloud in the sky. People tell me it's just a phase but this has been going on for such a long time.

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