With the holidays fast approaching, many teens are no doubt looking forward to spending time with family and celebrating the festivities with their loved ones. However, the holidays are not always an easy time for most teenagers, due to stressful conditions in their surrounding. If not arrested on time, this may trigger teen depression.
So what are the possible causes of teen depression during the holidays?
- Increase in Demands
The holiday season is usually filled with numerous activities such as parties, travel and family gatherings. Although these activities are fun, they can be very tasking mentally, physically and emotionally. Without practicing self-care and setting aside time for themselves, teenagers can easily become overwhelmed.
- Family Problems
The holiday season is a period that brings families together. During this time, any problem that a family member may be struggling with, e.g. addiction, family dysfunction, terminal illness and loss is likely to come up. This can trigger deep feelings of sadness in teenagers.
How to Manage Teen Depression during the Holidays
Depression during the holiday season can deprive a teenager of fun and enjoyment. As a parent or caregiver of a struggling teen, you must support them in managing their feelings of sadness and anxiety.
So how can you achieve this?
- Find a Connection with your Teen
One of the hallmarks of depression in teens is isolation. Many teenagers who struggle with depression tend to feel alienated. This may cause them to become withdrawn from their friends and loved ones. By isolating themselves, struggling teens may further exacerbate their depressive symptoms. To help them deal with their depression in healthier ways, you should try to find meaningful ways of connecting with them. Reassuring your teenager that they are loved and appreciated can greatly help in combating feelings of sadness and self-deprecation.
- Encourage your Teenager to Exercise
Physical exercises are very effective when it comes to dealing with depression. This is because exercise releases ‘feel-good’ hormones such as endorphins and dopamine. If your teen is struggling with depression, you need to motivate them to take part in exercises like jogging or walking. These will help alleviate the effects of depression on their bodies and rejuvenate their minds.
- Provide a Healthy Diet
Many teens who struggle with depression often resort to unhealthy eating habits as a way of coping with their negative thoughts and feelings. They may resort to binge eating or eating very little. In some cases, they may start consuming unhealthy foods, which may affect both their physical and mental well being. Therefore, as a parent, you should ensure that your teenager is eating a good diet at all times.
Depression is a very common problem that many teenagers face during the holidays. If your teen is struggling with feelings of sadness and anxiety, you need to support them by showing love, caring for them and understanding their plight. This will help them better manage their depression through healthy coping mechanisms. Always remember to consult with a mental health specialist if you suspect that your teenager is struggling with depression.