The statistics are concerning. According to a study by the American Psychological Association Gen Z teens ages 13-17 are experiencing elevated stress and reporting symptoms of depression. Half say the pandemic has severely disrupted their plans for the future.
Now throw in the impact of the pandemic on the holidays, and the concern is real. If a child or teen is known to have depression, the holidays can be triggering, says Core Recovery CEO Jillian Vanselow. Children can absorb the stress and anxiety from others around them and will react to their parents’ stress.
The holiday season can be challenging for some children and teens. But, there are things you can do to combat the holiday blues in your kids during the holidays.
Ways to Find Joy This Season
- Volunteer and give back to the community. “We’ve been talking a lot about acts of kindness here at Core Recovery and recently launched a Capture Kindness campaign,” says Jillian. “We encourage you and your family to join the fun. Kindness is a great stress reliever and mood booster.”
- Talk about your family’s culture, heritage, and beliefs.
- Cook together making favorite family recipes.
- Consider making holiday or seasonal cloth face coverings to wear during the holiday season.
- Try to be present in the moment by finding ways to play and laugh together.
- Practice mindfulness Get plenty of exercise and fresh air when possible.
- Encourage siblings to be patient and understanding with each other.
Holiday Blues Vs. Depression
- Older child or adolescent. Acts anxious or withdrawn, argues more than normal, or seems more aggressive. Complains about stomachaches or headaches.
- Teen or young adult. Gets into trouble, can’t focus, hides problems, feels afraid, or believes they are a burden to the family.