Nine Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues
The holiday season can bring mixed emotions for many. For some, it’s their favorite time of year. For others, it brings feelings of sadness and loss. Seeing old friends and family members may be exciting or may bring up memories of disappointments.
Feeling depressed or anxious is not unusual during the holiday season. Upcoming dinners, parties, and other family or friend gatherings may cause a great deal of stress. These feelings may be even worse for those who have experienced divorce, the loss of a loved one, or are living far from family and friends.
Here are some tips to “beat the holiday blues.”
1. Keep your regular routine.
A change in routine can lead to additional stress. Try to exercise at your usual time, go to meetings that you normally go to, and stick to your normal diet as best you can.
2. Think moderation.
While it may be easy to drink and eat too much at parties and special dinners, we should try not to overindulge with food and/or alcohol. Remember, eating and drinking may feel like it temporarily “eases the pain” of the holiday blues, but it can also lead to feelings of guilt.
3. Be realistic and try not to expect the “ideal” holiday.
So many of us have an idealized version of what the holidays should be like and are very disappointed when they don’t live up to those expectations. Try to be realistic. Remember, nobody has a perfect holiday or perfect family.
4. Stay connected.
Make sure to leave time to spend with friends and/or family who value you. And if they don’t live close by, call them for a quick chat. Remember to ask for support if you need it.
5. Throw guilt out the window.
Try not to put unreasonable pressure on yourself to be happy, to rejoice, or even to enjoy the holidays. Likewise, try not to overanalyze your interactions with others. Give yourself a break this holiday season.
6. Don’t be alone if you don’t want to be.
If you anticipate spending the holidays alone, try to volunteer somewhere, like in a soup kitchen, with children in group homes, or with the elderly in various facilities. People will appreciate your thoughtfulness and you’ll have company.
7. Just say no.
It’s ok to say no when you are asked to do more than you can. It’s reasonable to say no to some invitations and acceptable to say no to those asking for favors.
8. Ask for help.
Holidays are often a time people attempt to take on too much or do too much on their own. It’s ok to ask for help from family and friends. Whether for decorating, shopping, cooking, or a shoulder to lean on, ask.
9. Be good to yourself.
If you’re feeling blue, pamper yourself. Do what feels good, and what you want to do. Try to take a walk or spend time alone if that’s what you want. Remember, this is your holiday too, and you can be there for yourself just like you try to be for everyone else.
The holidays come once a year and only last for a few weeks. Try out some of these tips for more joy and less stress.
Have a peaceful holiday season!
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