Coping with Holiday Stress and Depression

Most people consider the holidays a source of joy and good cheer. They get to spend time with friends and family and have good food, and good times. Unfortunately, some people have no friends or family to spend the holidays with; or, what friends and family they have are too far away. There are also those who have broken or dysfunctional families. Even without family problems, there are those who are coping with financial hardship and food insecurity, mental health issues, and physical health issues.

For these people, the holidays are often a source of stress and sadness. There are several methods of coping with holiday-related depression, Such as planning ahead for how you’re going to deal with the stresses of the season , volunteering to help those less fortunate than yourself , and relaxation techniques. However these methods don’t always work for everyone . If you’re one of those people who get hit with holiday depression , and the usual method don’t work for you, it might be time to call in the professional.

coping with holiday stress and depression

Professional Help

The first thing to understand is that getting professional help is not a sign of weakness , it’s a sign that you are aware that things are over your head and that you need some help. There are several different types of professionals that can help; the type you choose depends on your preference and also your budget.


Hypnotherapy used to retrain your thought patterns. People you could quit smoking, to lose weight, and you can use it to help you retrain your thought patterns to better cope with holiday stress . Contrary to popular belief, hypnotherapists don’t make people do things against their will; they merely help you tap into your own subconscious. According to Alexander Hertzberg of Hypnosis Beverly Hills, hypnosis can be used to treat and manage weight loss, smoking cessation, and anxiety.


Psychotherapy could refer to working with a psychiatrist or psychologist. Psychiatrists, are medical doctors who tend to focus on a combination of behavioral therapy and medical interventions for depression, such as medication; psychologist are licensed professionals who focus more on talk therapy and behavior modification.

The type of psychotherapy you choose depends in part on what you think your needs are. If you think you just need to talk it out with someone and find better coping mechanisms, you would be better off with a psychologist. If you believe that you might have a chemical imbalance or a mental health issue, such as seasonal affective disorder, you might want to talk with a psychiatrist about medication.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is another form of psychotherapy except instead of meeting one-on-one with the therapist would meet in a group setting. The advantage to group therapy is that you also get to meet with other people like yourself, which could ease some of your holiday-related loneliness and stress.

It might even pave the way to forming new relationships, which can lead to more inclusive holidays in the future. Group therapy sessions meet at mental health clinics, but there are also support groups that meet in public places. Some public support groups are designed for other issues, such as grief or dealing with a major illness, but put extra focus on stress and depression during the holidays.

Crisis Hotlines

Crisis hotlines are free services usually provided either on a state or federal level, where people can call in for immediate help in an emergency. They are not intended to be used ling-term. The staff at the hotlines are not necessarily trained psychotherapist, but they are very well trained to provide emotional support and help people through crisis, and to connect them with the professional resources they need if they are unable to help.

Some employers offer confidential mental health services as telephone hotlines, or internet chats. While they are there primarily to help employees deal with work issues, they can help if work is contributing to holiday stress. Like the public mental health hotlines they may be staffed by people who are not professional psychotherapist, but can help you find the resources you need.


Finding the right support during the holiday season can help you deal with holiday stress, and get to a happier place.


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