Baby's First Year · Emotional Health · Parenting

Managing stress, anxiety, and depression over the holiday season

Individual sitting on couch looking sad. Christmas tree lit in background.

As I walked through Costco this past August, I couldn’t help but notice this season’s holiday gear making its way onto the shelves.  Everything from gifts to decorations, cards, and wrapping paper – ‘seriously’ I asked myself?  How can we be thinking of the holidays when we’re still supposed to be soaking up the summer sunshine – it’s just too soon!

While the holiday season can be filled with fun and excitement for some, it can also bring depression, anxiety, and stress, especially for new parents who are having trouble adjusting to life with a new baby.  For these families the holiday season can be downright overwhelming.

Start planning on ways to help you survive the holiday season with as little stress as possible. 

Here are some tips that can help:

  • Have your family and friends come to you. This will lessen the stress of travelling with your new baby and sleeping away from the comforts of your home
  • Take some alone time to rest your mind – go sit in a coffee shop, take a bath, or enjoy a walk outdoors
  • Take short cuts! Buy cookies instead of baking, skip mailing holiday cards (they usually end up in the garbage anyhow), don’t decorate the entire house – just focus on one room, agree with your family on buying less gifts this year (which also means less wrapping for you)
  • Plan for the best and don’t blame yourself if your plans don’t turn out.  Remember … “what will be, will be – it doesn’t have to be perfect!”
  • Ask for help from your partner, family, and friends. They can’t read your mind, so just be clear on what you need
  • Don’t over schedule yourself!

 Many people feel sad and lonely during the months of December and January.

If you are experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety, be kind to yourself and get the help and support you need from family and your health care provider. 

You can learn how to feel better faster by connecting with our Public Health Nurse via eChat or by calling (416) 338-7600.


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