Stress, Depression, and The Holidays

The holidays are meant to be a fun and joyful time of year, but they have a darker side for many. If the holidays get you stressed, here are some tips to help you manage the season’s holiday depression.

The Holidays Are Stressful for Many

The holiday season is the most stressful time of year for many, and there are multiple factors that contribute to stress and holiday depression.

The mere logistics of hosting and attending gatherings are demanding. There is the cooking, cleaning and gift wrapping that must be squeezed around all the normal obligations. Add this pressure on to the other pressures of wanting to host a “perfect holiday gathering” when we get the family together, and even the best project managers will feel the stress. Logistics aren’t the only challenge, though.

Family relationships can exacerbate the season’s stress. Difficult family bonds can make seeing each other unpleasant in the best of times. Plus, there are the people who are far away and can’t make it in person. Of course they will be missing the loved ones they won’t be seeing during this special time of year.

Service members who are away from home, some isolated in far-away countries feel the stress of distance at the holidays.

For families with loved ones who have passed this year, seeing them missing from the family gathering will be especially difficult. This group will be especially large and disheartening this year in light of the Covid-19 pandemic (which also won’t make hosting gatherings any easier).

Tips to Prevent Holiday Stress and Depression

If you’re having a difficult time this holiday season, keep these tips in mind to help reduce your stress and depression.

First, know how to manage the logistics of finances and time. Whether these are a major or minor source of strife, taking care of them will let you focus on the other aspects of the holiday season. To manage logistics:

  • Follow a budget for festivities and gifts
  • Plan ahead for gatherings and shopping

Second, know how to navigate your friend and family dynamics (which are different for everyone). Depending on your situation, you might need to:

  • Reach out to family for support and companionship
  • Have more realistic expectations as your family changes
  • Set aside differences to accept friends and family

Third, make sure you take care of yourself and give yourself what you need. You may need to:

  • Keep your healthy daily habits
  • Take a deep breath and regather at times
  • Acknowledge feelings and allow yourself to cry
  • Seek professional help during this time

Jonas Hill is Here For You

Should you need professional help during the holidays, Jonas Hill is here for you. You don’t have to go through the season alone, and you’ll be heard by us. Call 911 if you’re going through an imminent emergency, or call Jonas Hill to talk to someone about a non-emergency, but trying situation.

Take the First Step

If you need help, know that taking the first step is the hardest step. It’s not a sign of weakness to reach out, but a show of strength — strength to recognize that you need others during this time and strength to have hope. We can help you identify the next steps to take for your holiday depression by contacting us through this form


Jonas Hill Hospital & Clinic a division of Caldwell Memorial Hospital provides our community with safe, dignified and integrated care for adult patients experiencing an acute mental health need. We provide hope, treatment, and healing through a holistic program of evidence-based psychiatric treatment, team-based medical care, and education provided by engaging and dedicated professionals in a safe and healing environment. Contact Jonas Hill Hospital and Clinic today at (828) 394-6722 for more information.