While the Holiday Season is a time for joy and happiness, it often brings about a few unwanted emotions: stress and depression. These seasonal "blues" stem from a number of factors including increased stress and fatigue,over-commercialization, unrealistic expectations, and the inability to
be with family during the holidays. While many individuals become depressed during the holiday season, even more experience grave amounts of stress and anxiety when the holidays are over. On the bright side, there are plenty of tips for coping with these troubling times. Being realistic, planning ahead, and seeking support are three great steps to help ward off stress and depression. In order to look toward the future rather than dwell on the past, check out the following promising strategies:
- Do something for someone else - It sounds contradictory, but it can help! Try surprising a friend or even volunteering in the community!
- Enjoy free holiday activities - Playing in the snow, viewing Christmas lights, and window shopping can help heighten your mood!
- Take a breather - Even just 15 minutes out of the day to yourself will help center your focus and refresh you enough to take on what's next.
- Avoid excess alcohol - While a glass or two is acceptable, excessive drinking will only make you more depressed.
- Try something new - Don't be afraid to ditch old habits and celebrate the holidays in a way you've never tried. Make new traditions!
- Spend time with those who care - Those who are supportive and care about you should be kept close. If you feel alone, make new friends or contact one you've lost touch with.
- Don't abandon healthy habits - Overindulgence only adds to stress and guilt. Try having a healthy snack before parties to avoid going overboard. Similarly, get adequate sleep and exercise.