“I’m depressed on Thanksgiving” and what to do about it

Are you depressed this Thanksgiving holiday?

It’s okay. I’m right there with you.

Maybe you’re separated from family this year. Maybe you’ve gone through a bad breakup. Maybe this is your first holiday after the death of someone you love.

Perhaps you’re like me and are struggling with housing and finances.

You’re definitely not alone. Holidays can be some of the happiest times of the year. But it can also be the saddest if life hasn’t been kind.

So what do you do? I’m not a therapist. I’m just like you. Here is what usually helps. I’ve done all of these.

Get out of the house and move. Go anywhere: This helps a lot. I’m a shopping mall nerd, so you’ll see me walking around in those. Get in the car and go to the park, lake or beach. If you do have some money, take a trip.

Exercise: Go to the gym. You’re not competing in the Olympics, just go and walk/jog on the treadmill. If you don’t know free weights, go and use the machines. And just work your tail off. Exercise has not only gotten me out of holiday depression but out of some major life challenges as well.

Go and volunteer: Yeah. It’s a Hallmark movie cliche. But it actually works. I’ve been on the other side of those shelter dinners and pantry giveaways. You’re contributing to someone’s happiness and actually doing something that matters. And there is actually a chance you could meet someone. That happens.

Catch up with some long lost friends: Want to know a secret? After a couple of hours, families will run out of things to say to each other. This is why the bars are full on Thanksgiving afternoon. Go out with some friends and have a good time. Please use a rideshare and party responsibly.

Adopt a pet: Because of the housing crisis and out of control rent increases, a lot of pets have been surrendered and need new homes. If you have the means, adopt a dog or cat. A lot of times, they’ll waive the fee. It’s gotten that bad.

Listen. The holidays can be tough. Part of my coping is writing this post with the hopes that it will make you feel better. The brighter days will get here.

Happy Thanksgiving

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*I’m not a doctor. But you probably already knew that. If you’re thinking about harming yourself please call 988 and take care. It will get better.

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