During the month of December, the days get shorter and colder, and the holidays get closer. Though this time of year involves joy and merriment, the holiday season can contribute to seasonal depression. For teens on winter break, the change in daily routine, less sunlight, and holiday pressure can lead to the holiday blues. In some cases, this calls for holiday season depression treatment. If your teenager is showing signs of seasonal depression, call Foothills at Red Oak Recovery today. Learn more about teen depression treatment for adolescent boys by calling 866.300.5275.
Is Seasonal Depression the Holiday Blues?
Seasonal depression may coincide with the holiday blues. A reduction in sunlight likely causes both during the winter months. Lower levels of sun exposure cause the brain to produce higher levels of melatonin. Melatonin is a useful chemical that helps us fall asleep at night. If a person doesn’t get enough sunlight, too much melatonin in their body can cause seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD). Many adolescents struggle with a change in schedule, family pressures, economic stress, time without friends, and less time outdoors during the holiday season. These factors lead many teens to experience holiday depression. If your teen is experiencing seasonal depression, they may exhibit the following:
- Disinterest in activities
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Mood swings, irritability, reactivity
- Changes in weight and appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Inability to concentrate on simple tasks
- Feeling worthless
Sometimes with adolescent men, it’s hard to know the difference between hormonal behavior and holiday depression. Teenagers’ daily lives are stressful as their bodies undergo growth spurts, hormonal changes, and brain development. If your teen shows the above symptoms and a genuine disinterest in activities they love, seek support for seasonal depression today.
Avoiding Holiday Depression
Holiday and seasonal depression affect millions and can be hard on teenagers. Here are some tips to help your teen lessen the effects of the holiday blues.
- Spend time outside. Whether it’s a few minutes to bring in firewood or shovel snow, time outside will significantly decrease seasonal depression. When paired with physical activity, sunlight is even more beneficial. If your teen can’t get enough time outside, invest in a lamp that mimics natural sunlight and increase vitamin D supplements.
- Play a winter sport. Enroll your teen in a winter sport to keep them active and on a schedule. The shift from full days at school to holiday breaks can contribute to the blues. If sports aren’t an option, help your teen build a daily schedule that includes physical activity.
- Encourage socialization. Sometimes, the holiday blues stem from limited social contact with friends. If this is the case, help your teen schedule social time with friends. Spending time with family can also be beneficial. However, sometimes, family stress can worsen holiday blues. Speak candidly with your teen and begin a dialogue about what social support they need this holiday season.
- Be mindful the holiday season will pass. Every year, people spend so much time looking forward to the holiday season. But, for many people, the winter months bring depression alongside holiday stress. This season, practice mindfulness with your teen. By bringing awareness to the present moment, you can reduce stress. This practice also reminds the whole family that winter will be over sooner than it seems.
Whether your teen is struggling with holiday blues because they miss their friends or because home life is stressful, professional help can always lessen the effects of seasonal depression.
Treat Your Teen’s Holiday Blues with Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
If you notice signs of seasonal depression in your teenager, call Foothills at Red Oak Recovery today. Our depression treatment center helps adolescents manage substance abuse and co-occurring issues like holiday depression. Our holistic healing programs include modalities such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Equine-assisted therapy
- Family therapy
- Experiential therapy
Call Foothills 866.300.5275 today to help your teen beat the holiday blues.