Around and during holidays, especially at Christmas and New Year, a lot of people declare they are caught up in overwhelming emotional holiday stress, and they are experiencing holiday depression syndrome.
If family gatherings, endless parties and shopping are wearing you down, you might as well know you are not the only one in this.
Feeling down during holidays can be tough, especially if you feel disconnected with the world.
But don’t worry – we got you covered!
Finding Christmas Holiday Spirit And Avoiding Holiday Stress
With a bit of foresight and planning, holidays can leave you feeling up, and not down!
So don’t worry.
There is always a way how to deal with holiday stress and depression, and this is how you can beat that holiday blues you might have.
Spend some time figuring out how to take care of yourself during this time. Come up with routines, such as reading a book or napping, or doing something else instead.
In between of shopping and baking, make sure these routines don’t fall by themselves – you need to make plans ahead.
Figure out which basics are going to help you get through the holidays and make them as priority.
Keep Modest Expectations To Avoid Holiday Stress
Don’t get hang up to what holidays are supposed to be, and always keep modest expectations either from you, or from someone else.
Don’t compare to others or idealize things.
Always try to get real and more down to earth.
By doing so, you won’t lose the ground under your feet feeling bad by all that holiday blues playing in your head (like a broken record).
Lower your expectations.
Do something Different
- Try to do something different this year
- Celebrate Thanksgiving at a restaurant, or spend Christmas day at the movie theater
- Skip gifts and donate to charities instead
Why not doing something different?
Avoid Family Conflicts
Yes. Family can make you crazy sometimes.
But don’t worry, there’re couple of ways to save your sanity at family gatherings.
If you know there are going to be conflicts, prepare a neutral response. You can always offer to help in the kitchen, or hang out with the kids, which is a good way to avoid possible conflicts.
Become your own time and space master, and don’t get sucked into anything you desperately want to avoid.
Forget About Perfection
People suffering from depression during the holidays and especially around Christmas time – feel even worse.
From decorating to finding the perfect gifts, you might feel so overwhelmed, it’ll make you “crazy”.
What to do?
De-focus from yourself and focus on those who have far less than you do.
You can’t be depressed when you see that.
You mustn’t be.
It is a perfectly good timing to learn to be more grateful for the blessings you’ve had, which many weren’t so lucky.
If You Grieve – Learn How To Cope With It
If you are mourning a loved one, it’s a good time to talk about your feelings,or reach out to support groups.
It’s not uncommon to feel angry at the person for leaving you alone or, feeling guilty if you do enjoy yourself during the holidays. All feelings are a sign that you’re only a human, and reflect where you are in your healing process.
Try to find positive ways to remember your loved ones.
Your love for them will always be present in your heart.
Holiday activities can easily wear you down and might interfere with your good night sleep.
There is a link between sleep loss and depression, therefore, you’ll need to be extra careful about cutting back on sleep just to get everything done. Try to go to bed, and wake up at approximately the same time every day.
It is also a good idea to avoid large meals and physical activities few hours before bedtime, and make your bedroom to become a sleep sanctuary – free from TV or other distractions.
It is one of the first activities to do if you want to deal with holiday madness.
The more stress you are under, the less time you feel you’ll have, and the more irritated your mood is, the more you’ll need to continue exercising.
Get out and do something.
It helps burn those calories coming from all that rich, fatty and sugary holiday food you’ve just had.
Exercise has been shown to improve mood by releasing all those happy hormones within, therefore, you should definitely have to consider doing this.
Taking a brisk walk for only 30 minutes five days a week (or 60 minutes three times a week) can be of much use.
Just give it a try.
Expose To Light
If you are consistently tired, irritable and down at this time of year, it may not be due to the holidays as much as to the lack of exposure to the Sun.
Seasonal affective disorder(SAD) can be also treated by long walks during daylight hours, or exposure to a light box for about 30 minutes a day.
So, grab any sunny chance you get and enjoy daily walks.
Crowded places are annoying, and if you want to save yourself from the trouble – do online shopping instead. It is much easier and less stressful.
And you will do bulk shopping.
Focus To What Matters
The holidays shouldn’t be all about the presents, a little soul uplifting won’t do any harm, you know?
Try volunteering or donate to organisations of your choice.
Do something meaningful this year, and help those who are in need.
Your soul will be blessed.
Stick To A Budget
Financial woes can make it easy not to lose your sanity while spending. Set and stick to a budget this year.
Don’t go overboard with overspending.
You can try other things as gifting such as baking your gifts, or create new traditions to follow.
Eat And Drink In Moderation
When you are facing many holiday parties and family gatherings, it is hard to resist all that food and drinks served, and at the same time to stay committed to your diet.
Don’t go overboard with everything and don’t binge on food and alcohol either.
Have just one piece of pie and not four of them, so you will feel less guilty afterwards.
Do some pre-holiday dinner preps by eating healthy meals the weeks prior.
And the most important…
DON’T use alcohol to deal with holiday depression. Alcohol can intensify your emotions and leave you feeling even WORSE!
It’s Only 24 h Holiday – Don’t Worry!
Don’t forget that holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas especially) are both 24 hours and that’s it.
Give yourself a break!
Are holidays making you anxious?
Then, listen to your favorite music.
Hearing music you love can easily relax your blood vessels and increase the blood flow. It will calm you down and it is proven that it is good for your heart and your mind too!
And the last but not the least…
The holidays may break you down, but PLEASE don’t focus only on the bad things.
Holidays may take you into deeper introspection of yourself, and make you see all your imperfections at a glance.
What to do?
Focus on the GOOD stuff only if you want to avoid further holiday stress.
Negative thinking patterns will trigger higher stress levels in your body, and it is the last thing to have at this time of the year!
REMEMBER, holidays are time for celebration with your family and friends, and a bit more of optimistic outlook and approach will surely help you deal with challenges coming your way…
So, dear readers – Happy Holidays and let’s celebrate LIFE!
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