10 Ways To Avoid Holiday Depression
We are headed into the holidays and it’s time for rejoicing. Except for those of us who dread the holidays. For many people Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years are very difficult. A time when they are lonely and feel neglected, a time that reminds them of a difficult childhood, a time when everyone else seems happy but them. I am writing this for any of you who find the holidays difficult. Don’t worry. You are not alone.
If you don’t believe this then ask your shrink. Or someone else’s shrink if you don’t have one. They will tell you that the holidays are their busiest time of the year. Here are some helpful hints for handling the holiday blues.
First, try to avoid stress and depression especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.
- Acknowledge your feelings. If you have had a recent loss or you can’t be with people you love, then it’s normal to feel sadness. Take time out to cry and express your feelings. Don’t try to force yourself to be happy. It won’t work.
- Find outside resources. Go to community, religious or other social events. You will find support and companionship. Volunteer your time to help others as this will give you pleasure and will help you develop new friendships.
- Accept change. Holidays change with time. Traditions and rituals evolve. If your adult children can’t come to your house then celebrate together in other ways, like sharing pictures, emails or videos.
- Accept family members and friends as they are. They will never live up to all of your expectations. Forget all the grievances for a while, maybe permanently. Be understanding when other people get upset when things go wrong. They may also have holiday stress and depression.
- Set a budget. Decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.
- Set a schedule. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Write down your schedule and stick with it as best you can.
- Protect yourself. Don’t overcommit. Say no to requests when you are uncomfortable or unwilling.
- Stay with healthy habits. Don’t eat or drink too much or abandon your exercise. Overindulgence only makes you feel worse. Snack a little before holiday parties so that you overindulge on sweets, cheese or drinks. Get a lot of sleep. Get exercise each day.
- Take time out. Just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, could refresh you enough to handle everything. Clear your mind, slow your breathing and restore inner calm. You could take a walk at night, listen to soothing music. Get a massage or read a book.
- Get professional help if things get out of hand. If you feel persistently sad or anxious, have serious physical complaints, unable to sleep, feel irritable and hopeless, and find yourself unable to face routine chores for a period of time, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
Take control of the holidays
The holidays don’t have to be something you dread. You can take steps to prevent stress and depression that can come to you during the holidays. Recognize your holiday triggers, like financial pressures or relationship demands, so you can take care of them before a meltdown. Follow the suggestions you have just read and you will be able to find peace and joy during the holidays.
This entry was posted in better living, Guide to Happiness, Holiday Cheer and tagged assertiveness training, being happy, confidence building, david lee, enthusiasm, family and friends, Holiday Depression, living well, truefortune cookie messages, well being.
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#livehappy – Universal truth… we all want to be happy. We all think we know how to do this. So that’s what we do. We do the things that we think will make us happy.
Sometimes this works. A lot of the time it doesn’t. Because the usual roadmaps to happiness are biased. They are misleading. I’ll be happy if only I make enough money. Or achieve enough success. Or win that tournament. Or get those awards, have a huge house, learn enough skills, and own his and hers Maserati’s. We live in a society of money and power, fame (or notoriety) and scientific progress. We grow up immersed in this broth of wealth and prestige and progress, so we naturally believe in these principles.
It’s a mistake to pursue happiness, even though it’s our constitutional right. Happiness firmly resists pursuit. But it’s possible to set up your life so happiness is likely. Like tending a garden. You don’t prepare the ground, toss in seeds, and get instant results. You have to maintain an environment that is conducive to growth. The same for your life.
There are definite steps you can take to bring happiness and peace of mind into your life. They take time and determination. Stay tuned in for more information.
Your task is to find happiness and peace of mind in a world that is increasingly full of challenges.
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– David Lee
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