How to deal with depression in December
According to the National Institute of Health, this time of year is known for a higher incidence of people struggling with depression. Before sharing how to deal with depression in December, let’s understand why, aside from the reduction in sunlight this time of year, people are more prone.
Often times we compare ourselves to other people. Whatever we think their status definer is – their engagement, wedding, marriage, children, grandchildren, new car, new job, new home, etc., we can get caught feeling down when we focus on how we do not measure up. Social media can be toxic and perpetuate this anxiety, especially this time of year. So how do we stop?
Whatever your game changer habit is, do that
Taking a step back from materialism and seeming pressure from society to have achieved a certain life status by a specified age, we can instead just take a page from Aristotle. Yeah, throw it back to this: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Can you change your habits to be a better version of yourself? More reading? More writing? Or more yoga? Whatever it is that will help you let all that toxic sh!t go, make that action your habit to excellence.
You already know it is good for you and it does feel good after a brisk walk or workout is over. Plus, running can improve brain connectivity, so you are not only making yourself healthier, but also sharper.
Share your time with others
Speaking of connectivity, it may not be your fault, dear millennial, that you are basking in the feeling of aloneness. Some millennials have been taught to “learn to be alone” and that “it’s okay to be alone”. Uhh actually in Blue Zones – where people who lived 100+ years – these lifers were not loners, they spent almost all their time in the company of others within their community. They were not allllll byyyyy myselllfffffff. Some of the ways to turn around feelings of isolation, especially on Sunday nights, which are seriously the worst, I know, are to phone a friend or go volunteering. And when you meet others who seem different than you, learn to connect in your differences with curiosity. Ask thoughtful questions to build bridges throughout the conversation.
No shame in talking it out
Improve relational communication
Try textbook behavioral solutions to difficult relational situations, like the DEARMAN pneumonic to help you better express what you want. Often times depression gets worse when we feel so clouded by our emotions that we do not even know where to start when it comes to talking with other people. If you use communication tools that coaches or therapists recommend, it can help clear the emotions out of your own way so you can focus on sharing what is important to you. Finally, be kind and gentle to yourself and others. If you forget sometimes, that’s okay, just breathe and start again.