While the holidays are supposed to be a time of cheer, it can certainly present its own stresses and be a trigger for depression. At every turn, so many are bombarded with deadlines and pressures.
Here are some helpful guidelines to get through the holiday season:
Holidays: Keeping In Control
One way to control depression and anxiety during the holidays is to understand what generates those feelings. For some it may be financial burdens, limited time to spare, dealing with difficult family members, remembering the loss of a loved one, and more. Try to compartmentalize those feelings and take on one issue at a time in dealing with them.
Find support either through therapy or another type of group. Support can help one not only hash out their feelings and think of solutions, but it inevitably minimizes depression and stress.
Family Boundaries During The Holidays
The legendary comic and actor George Burns said it best: “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” Well, during the holiday season the likelihood of going to that “other city” may occur.
If difficult family members exist, the best thing to do prior to attending the holiday gathering is establishing boundaries. The most important things to decide are the following:
- Who to establish contact with
- How much contact with particular family members
- How much time will be spent at the gathering
- How to gracefully leave a room before tempers flare
Before entering that holiday party, it’s important to play scenarios in one’s head and implement the above guidelines. If a person of support is unable to attend, then stay connected with someone of that caliber via text, email, or cell phone.
Remember to establish those boundaries and hours spent at the party. Being in control is the first step in reducing stress.
Support During The Holidays
As mentioned before, if one starts to feel sadness loom or a feeling of isolation, there are plenty of groups to lean on during this time. This may include support groups, religious groups, and other healthy social events to help make the holiday season go smoother.
Others who have feelings of holiday depression or sadness may find relief by volunteering. There is an array of opportunities to help others in need during the holidays which can lift away those feelings of sadness and be with like-minded people who want to help.
Companionship and support during the holidays are the best gifts of all.
Healthy Habits During The Holidays
It’s difficult to follow a life of health and wellness while desserts and extra meals overflow during the holidays. Not eating and sleeping well also affects the way one feels. With that said, it’s important to implement a healthy lifestyle despite the temptations. They include the following:
- Continue a regular sleeping pattern.
- Rest up on days when sleeping was cut short the previous night.
- Eat a healthy snack before attending a party so overeating is minimized.
- Implement daily exercise, even if it’s a brisk walk.
- Meditate or listen to calming music when possible.
If feelings of sadness and depression remain or increase, do seek the help of a mental healthcare provider to help alleviate those symptoms.