Man in suit sitting with head in his hands and jacket in his lapThe holidays are finally here. For many people, that means spending more time with family members, or maybe even staying with some if you’re traveling from out of town.

While the holidays are great for reconnecting with loved ones and celebrating the season, they can be difficult when you’re dealing with depression.

When you have difficult family dynamics on top of it, you might be tempted to spend the holidays hiding away, rather than making things “merry and bright”.

But, you can manage your depression and difficult family dynamics around the holidays with a few helpful tips. By keeping your family situation at bay, it will be easier to control the symptoms of your depression instead of letting them control you this season.

So, how can you keep struggling family dynamics in check this season so you can better manage your depression?

Set Boundaries

Woman outside in snow making heart shape with her handsOne of the best things you can do to manage your family dynamics is to set boundaries. That includes boundaries for yourself, and for members of your family.

Your own boundaries should include whatever it takes to make it easier to manage your depression. If you’re not able to attend every event or get-together, that’s okay. If you need to go rest during a family gathering, that’s okay too.

You get to decide how long you stay somewhere, what you’re comfortable talking about, and who you’re comfortable spending time with. Without those boundaries, your symptoms of depression could become worse throughout the season.

Setting boundaries with your family members can be as simple as talking to them. Tell them ahead of time what your boundaries are and that you would appreciate it if they respected them. There may be one or two people who don’t understand or don’t want to accept your boundaries. But, it’s your prerogative whether to interact with them.

Avoid Toxic Family Members

Speaking of not interacting with certain people…

It’s easy for people to focus on family togetherness and letting bygones be bygones over the holidays. But, if there are certain family members who tend to trigger you or even cause feelings of anxiety, it’s okay to stay away.

Maybe you have some unresolved issues with certain family members. Maybe you’ve just never gotten along with a few of them. Whatever the case, the last thing you want is to argue or feel “trapped” in a situation. Don’t let toxic individuals—including family—ruin your holiday season.

Practice Self-Care

Feet in gray socks with green mug between themThe holidays can get a bit chaotic at times. That, alone, can make it easier for your stress levels to rise, which can lead to greater symptoms of depression.

Dealing with negative family dynamics can be even more chaotic and challenging. Don’t forget to take care of yourself throughout the season. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish. When you’re dealing with depression, it’s a necessity.

Try to keep as much of your daily routine intact as possible. It will give you a sense of comfort and control, even in difficult situations.

Additionally, make sure you’re getting enough rest. Make sleep a priority, especially if your days are exceptionally busy. Eating a healthy diet and exercising will also help to boost your mood, give you more energy, and help you maintain your mental wellness around difficult family members.

But, don’t forget to enjoy one or two of your favorite holiday treats! That can be a mood-boosting form of self-care, too.

If you have depression, the holidays can still be enjoyable. You can even manage difficult family dynamics while celebrating the season. But, you don’t have to handle all of it on your own. If you’re concerned about managing your depression while balancing strained familial relationships, feel free to contact me for a free 15 minute phone consultation.

Click here to learn more about depression therapy services in Delray Beach, FL and Sandy Springs, GA.