The holidays aren’t easy for everyone. For some of us this time of year brings back painful memories and can make us feel alone. Instead of allowing yourself to hide away, try some of these tips to help beat those seasonal blues.
1. Don’t be too hard on yourself. That includes making too many plans if it feels overwhelming. Over-scheduling yourself can trigger anxiety and cause you to feel irritable. Do what is best for you, and don’t over-schedule yourself. Keep time to relax and reflect.
2. Stick to what makes you happy. Don’t commit to engagements that are stressful or depressing. The same goes for the company you keep. Make plans with others that bring you joy and happiness!
3. Don’t expect feelings of sadness to disappear just because it is the holiday season. Many of us believe that we should only feel happiness at this time of year. As if by some miracle, all of our problems disappear temporarily. Putting this kind of pressure on our selves can cause even deeper feelings of depression. Set realistic expectations. Honor your feelings. There is nothing to feel ashamed about if emotions creep up.
4. Don’t expect the holidays to feel the same way they felt when you were a child. Many people experience disappointment and depression because they cannot match the feelings from past years. Be realistic. You are a new person, and in a new place since you were once a child. Embrace the changes and create your own traditions and good times!
5. Don’t over-indulge. People tend to use the holidays as an excuse to drink and eat more than is healthy for most. Alcohol is a depressant, and eating too many heavy foods can also make a person feel overly lethargic. Enjoy BUT try to remain healthy and make smart choices.
6. Take a break or a nap! Step away from the holiday buzz and pressure if you need to. Go for a walk, watch something unrelated to the holidays, take a nap! Don’t allow yourself to drown in the festivities if they are too intense for you.
7. Do something for others. Giving to others, and doing good deeds, are both proven to elevate moods, and lift our spirits. Volunteer for others who are less fortunate.
8. Plan activities that do not cost a great deal of money. Spending can cause added stress and prevent you from enjoying the seasons. There are plenty of low-budget activities offered this time of year, so take some time to find some and enjoy without breaking the budget!
9. Be thankful for the things you have day to day. Don’t lose sight of the positive things in your life just because the holidays may not meet your every expectation. If this proves to be a challenging time, keep things that make you feel happy throughout the in sight.
10. Remember that this too shall pass. Seasons change, the winter too will melt away into spring, and the sun will rise again.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!