The holiday season has only just started, but it already has people stressed out, and in some cases quite possibly suffering from actual holiday depression. If you haven’t experienced it, you might greet the idea of holiday depression with some skepticism, but it's a real thing. In fact, says Dr. Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “a lot of people would say that the holidays are the worst time of the year.”
Even if you're not clinically depressed, you might feel dejected as you witness the joyful celebrations of friends and family, or if your high expectations for the holidays aren’t met. Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can alleviate holiday gloom. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or food bank, exercising, and even using a special bright light box are simple ways to relieve anxiety; but it’s also important to pay close attention to your diet during the emotionally taxing holiday season.
Maintaining a strict diet and calorie count is not necessarily the best remedy for depression, but fortunately adding some cheer to your disposition doesn’t require eliminating your favorite edible comforts. Instead, it only requires adding foods to your diet that provide the body with important, mood-stabilizing nutrients such as selenium, manganese, folate, and vitamin D. Eating foods high in these nutrients won’t “cure” any preexisting mental conditions, but can help eliminate the risk of running a deficiency that can heighten and contribute to a mood disorder.
Fight holiday depression with these 10 mood-lifting foods.