Holiday Depression, Stress and Anxiety

Merry and Bright, Tis the Season, Holly Jolly, Joy to the World, Let your Heart be Light, Peace, Joy, and Love, Sparkle and Shine, Jingle All the Way, Comfort and Joy, All is Bright, Making Spirit Bright, these words, idioms, and song lyrics are associated with the holidays. Usually, these words portray the connotation of being the happiest time of year, yet for many, the holidays can be a great source of stress and anxiety.

Holiday depression

posted on 12/2/2019 in BLOGS from St. Anthony

In Iowa, we have the added stress of shorter days with less sun and poor weather which can cause negative moods this time of year. The end of the year often brings added social and financial obligations in addition to regular daily demands and duties such as hosting or attending parties, buying gifts, and holiday concerts. So what can you do to combat daily stressors during the holidays? Here are some tips to consider:

Take Time for Yourself

The holidays often come with jam-packed schedules and obligations and people often try to do it all. Try to remember that you don’t need a full schedule to enjoy the holidays, only choose events that make you happy and feel peaceful. Likewise, if you start to feel stress coming on acknowledge your feelings and try to carve time out for yourself. Consider going to a movie, taking a peaceful walk, or even getting a mug of hot chocolate to reset.

Express your Feelings

It’s ok this time of year to feel sadness or stress, especially if you’ve lost someone you love and they can’t be with you. Let yourself feel all the emotions without guilt. If you need a good cry, it’s perfectly acceptable to do so. Allowing yourself to feel what you are feeling in the moment is much more healthy than forcing yourself to feel happy because of the holiday season.

Consider making a Difference

The holiday season is full of opportunities to give back. Helping others is not only a great way to help your community but studies indicate the very act of giving back boosts your happiness, health, and sense of well-being. Volunteering can heighten your sense of wellbeing and might turn into a passion you carry with you throughout the year.

Stick to a budget

The holidays can be expensive and before you know you can easily go off the rails with your spending, which could put you in debt going into a new year. Try to determine how much you can afford to spend on food, gifts, and other obligations during the holidays and stick to a reasonable budget. If money is tight, consider homemade gifts, baked goods, or pool together funds as a group to donate to your favorite charity instead of store-bought gifts.

Despite your best efforts, you might find yourself feeling stress or anxiety this holiday season. Learning to recognize the triggers that make you feel this way is a great first step and with a little planning and positive thinking, you might find yourself enjoying the season sooner than you think. However, if these feelings persist, consider talking to your health professional and take control of the holidays! Please reach out to St. Anthony Mental Health Unit by calling (712) 794-5435 to schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated professionals. You may also call the 24-Hour Mental Health Crisis hotline at 1-800-562-6060.

St. Anthony Regional Hospital is dedicated to improving the health of the people we serve. We believe in providing high quality, healthcare services responsive to the needs of our patients. For more information, visit our website or call us at 712-792-3581. Follow us on Facebook!



  1. anxiety
  2. depression
  3. mental health
  4. stress

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