Depression and Holidays: Allow Feelings, Enjoy Simple Pleasures


One way to relieve depression is to experience simple pleasures that are easy to access or implement so they are not overwhelming.

Enjoying a simple, taste bud-tantalizing pumpkin granola parfait, for instance, may help bring a smile to your face – and nourish your body. Pumpkin is low in calories, loaded with vitamin A and full of fiber, antioxidants and beta-carotene.

But, before the revealing the parfait recipe, here are a few words about holiday cheer.

Happiness and Holidays

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety or any mental health diagnosis, you may feel pressured around the holidays to be happy and cheerful. In certain situations, such as when entertaining children or dinner guests, you may wisely choose to express joy that you do not feel.

However, all feelings – or the absence of feelings – are allowed during the holidays, and they are nothing to be ashamed of. Sadness, fear, grief, irritation or loneliness may be uncomfortable, but we all need to feel what we feel, and at least acknowledge those feelings to ourselves.

Holidays bring us excitement and pleasure but also emotional stress, reminders of loss and extra work. Even non-depressed individuals may feel alternately happy, sad and anxious. Still, one thing we can all do is make sure to enjoy the simple pleasures that come our way or that we create.

Spiced Pumpkin, Yogurt and Granola Parfait (2 servings)

Our emotions during the holidays may resemble a parfait: layers of different feelings that together make up our holiday experience.

You Will Need

  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup granola (such as Cascadian Farms, or Nature’s Path)
  • Additional agave nectar, if desired

Preparation (10 minutes)

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the pumpkin, agave nectar, ground ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon until blended.
  2. Into the bottom of two small bowls or glasses, put some of the pumpkin mixture.
  3. Layer with the yogurt, granola, agave nectar and more pumpkin.
  4. For added sweetness, top with some extra agave nectar.

Enjoy National Parfait Day, Nov. 25.

Recipe source: Cookin Canuck

Photo by John Nyboer


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