8 tips to celebrate the New Year if you have depression
Follow them to keep the holiday hustle and bustle from harming your mental health.
Stick to your usual sleep and eating patterns
New Year holidays beckon to lie down for a few days at home in the company of salads but remember about healthy habits. Try to sleep the usual 7-8 hours, go out for an easy walk every day and warm up for 10-15 minutes in the morning. All this will help maintain circadian rhythms and prevent insomnia, a common problem for people with depression.
Keeping track of nutrition during the New Year holidays can be difficult, but a balanced diet is important for maintaining mental health. Eat small meals regularly, and add protein sources to the menu, such as fish, eggs, and poultry. They contain tryptophan – this amino acid can increase serotonin production, also called the “hormone of happiness.”
Update drug prescriptions
It may happen that some appointments will expire, and the doctor will not be able to see you until the end of the holidays. To avoid taking antidepressants, make an appointment with a psychiatrist at least two to three weeks before the start of the holidays. If you’re celebrating New Year’s on a trip, try to stock up on medicines so that they last until you return home.
Warn loved ones about your condition
You do not have to tell all your relatives, even your second cousin, that you are experiencing depression. But, for example, parents or party organizers with whom you communicate closely would do well to find out about this. This way, you can avoid awkward questions like “Did something happen to you?”.
If family or friends don’t understand what you’re experiencing, show them articles or videos about depression. You don’t have the strength for an educational program, or you feel that they won’t understand you – try to tell your loved ones that you have been very tired at work for the last couple of weeks and still come to your senses.
Some people find it uncomfortable to celebrate the New Year with their family – sometimes, people experience anxiety and panic attacks. The reason for this may be excessively obsessive attention from relatives, who strive to find out if you have a soulmate and when there will already be children. Try to list answers to these questions shortly before the party. Preferably ethical, but at the same time such that unpleasant topics are no longer raised. For example, after a remark about children, you can calmly say that you are uncomfortable mentioning this topic. Usually, people try not to ask again after such an answer.
If it is uncomfortable to stay in the company, go home. Your health is more important than conventions. When there is no option to leave, stay close to people you feel comfortable with.
Don’t force yourself to sum up the year.
If such a practice brings negative experiences, with a clear conscience, abandon it. Or try focusing only on the good. For example, remind yourself that you have taken treatment for depression if it was recently diagnosed.
When it feels like beating yourself up for failing to reach some of your goals, seek help, such as seeing a therapist. If this is not possible on holidays, support yourself. A diary can help with this. Tell in detail what you feel to free yourself from the burden of experiences. If you don’t know what to pay attention to, describe the problem according to the following scheme:
- what kind of situation happened;
- What emotions did she evoke?
- What would you say to a friend in a similar situation?
- Are your fears and doubts justified?
- What thought should you keep in mind after working through the emotions?
Thus, you will understand what caused the unpleasant experiences and what you should remind yourself of if the situation repeats.
Do not strive to bring the holiday to the ideal.
The desire to make the party flawless can make you even more worried. You will have to think about how to prepare for the holiday without excesses, where to find excellent gifts, and remember your health.
Even if you can’t find the perfect Christmas decorations or serve a cheese plate exactly like in the photo on Pinterest, remember that you are already doing great. The main thing is that you found the strength to celebrate the holiday. And the little things that confuse you, the guests probably won’t notice. Remind yourself of this whenever you feel like you’re not trying hard enough. In the meantime, discuss any doubts with your friends. They may feel the same way as you, so that the conversations will help the whole company.
If these methods of dealing with anxiety do not help, try to give up social networks for a while. Their reality is greatly embellished, and watching beautiful holiday shots can only drive you into depression.
Make a Prep List
Break the global task of “Prepare for the New Year” into small things and do them gradually, not the day before the party. For convenience, divide the tasks into three categories: “I’ll do it quickly,” “It will take a little time,” and “I need help.” For example, the first category includes the selection of an image for a party. The second – is Christmas tree decoration. The third is purchasing products, cleaning, or choosing a location. You can devise a small reward for each completed item from the list. For example, buy your favorite treat for a simple task, and for a task of medium complexity, please yourself with a trinket that you have been looking at for a long time.
To maintain all your strength even before the holiday, delegate tasks. Soberly assess your condition and take on those things that you will have time to complete on time and not to the detriment of yourself. Divide the rest among your friends. For example, if you used to set the table for a holiday, this time you can cook only the signature dish and ask your friends to take their favorite snacks with them.
Inspect the holiday location in advance
This advice is relevant for those celebrating the New Year, not at home. During the depression, people may experience anger, anxiety, extreme fatigue, and sometimes even panic attacks. Some, in times of aggravation, need a place to rest.
It would be nice if you knew where the restroom is located in advance. In it, you can wash if a panic attack suddenly overtakes you, and you need to ground yourself. Find a quiet room: if you burn out after long conversations with other guests, it is suitable for relaxing.
Find a substitute for alcohol.
New Year’s Eve is rarely complete without champagne. If you want to raise a glass at midnight but are on depression medication, check with your psychiatrist. Sometimes doctors allow you to skip medication and drink some alcohol, but you should not do this without the permission of a specialist. The combination of alcohol and antidepressants can adversely affect the state of the liver and the cardiovascular system. In addition, alcohol is considered a depressant, which can increase the side effects of therapy.
As a substitute for traditional wines and champagnes try their non-alcoholic versions. They do not differ in taste from the usual New Year’s drinks, but at the same time, they practically do not contain alcohol. Mocktails will also come to the rescue – non-alcoholic variations of cocktails. For example, you can mix lemon, lime, and orange juice with soda and agave syrup to make a safer version of a margarita. And to make a non-alcoholic Bloody Mary, add Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and ground black pepper to tomato juice.