Holidays and Depression in Children and Teens

It’s that time of year again!  For many of us, the holiday season is a time of joy, family gatherings, treats and gifts, decorations, and celebrations. The holiday season can also bring on anxiety, loneliness, and depression in children and teens, as well as adults.  This season we would like to offer you some insight into some of the causes and signs of holiday depression and stress in children and share some ways to enjoy a more stress-free and joyful holiday season.

One of the biggest causes of holiday depression in children is fatigue.  During this time of year there are so many extra activities at home and at school.  Our routines are often out of whack, bedtimes are pushed back, and kids and parents are over-stimulated.  A few other causes can be:

*Unrealistic expectations, wanting everything to be “perfect”

*Grief from divorce or loss of loved ones

*Disruptions to home/school routine

*Peer Pressure at school

The following articles detail how such stressors present themselves in our family life.  There are also some very specific causes for holiday depression in younger children which we, as parents, often may overlook.

Handling Holiday Depression In Kids

Holiday Depression In Children

The signs for depression and stress in children during the holidays are not always easy to spot.  Take some time out from the hustle and bustle of these busy days of shopping, decorating, and baking to notice any changes in your child or teen. If your child or teen suddenly bursts into tears this may be one of the more obvious signs of stress or depression.   Other possible signs include:



*Opposition and Defiance

*Skill Regression


Thankfully, there are many ways to minimize stress and anxiety for you and your family during this holiday season.  Taking time to slow down and be present is always helpful during stressful times.  We have compiled a few articles with many helpful tips to help keep the “happy” in Happy Holidays!

Children and Holiday Stress – Ways to Reduce Stress

Here are 25 Ways to Find Joy and Balance During the Holidays!

9 Tips To Prevent Holiday Stress and Anxiety in Children

Preventing and Managing Challenging Child Behavior Over the Holidays

Family Rituals

Setting up family rituals, such as having a craft afternoon, can be a helpful antidote to the hectic pace of the holidays.  Creating a Glitter Jar is an easy and fun family activity which offers your child a quiet respite from the busy days of the holiday season.


All of us at PNC would like to wish you and your families a happy and healthy holiday season!