The holidays is a time for relaxation and festivity, especially, Christmas and New Year’s day. But if you fall into the category of people who get anxious and depressed during this season you’re probably dreading that the holiday is in full swing.
Hey — I don’t blame you.
There are several reasons people experience symptoms of anxiety and depression over the holidays. For one, there’s so much pressure on family and celebration. Especially the mushy Christmas movies with perfect homes and happy families– leaving everyone with unrealistic expectations for their own family.
There’s also people dealing with financial crisis and stressing over buying Christmas gifts on a tight budget. Between stressful end-of-year deadlines, financial pressures, family dysfunction and loss, poor eating and drinking habits, and increasingly cold and dark winter days, it’s easy for the holiday season to feel not-so-merry and bright.
This is why for many, December isn’t the most wonderful time of year. If you’re facing a case of the holiday blues follow these tips on how to beat it.
Make realistic expectations for the holidays
Don’t set your self up for failure by fantasizing a picture perfect holiday. The holidays is never exactly how people anticipate and it’s often disappointing. According to psychiatrist Dr. Mark Sichel, author of Healing From Family Rifts, “there’s often strife within families that comes out at holiday times.”
Become less active on Social Media
Instead, become more present and enjoy every moment spent with your friends and family. After all, the winter holiday only comes once a year.
Keep a gift shopping budget
Keeping a budget will make x-mas shopping a lot easier. Be sure to write down who you need to buy gifts for. Since you know how much you can spend on gifts, decide who gets what. Consider paying cash that way you can track how much your spending, and you won’t have a headache about a credit card debt after the holidays.
Spend time with supportive and caring people
Get your friends and family together for a dinner at your place. Although it can be tempting to isolate yourself when your feeling down in the dumps, it can be beneficial to spend time with your loved ones.
Limit alcohol consumption and avoid overeating
Drinking to excess can affect your mood and amplify any negative feelings that you may have. Also, try filling up on veggies before a social outing. Holiday outings can often lead to overeating, which can affect your mood and overall well-being.
Exercise is a known preventive activity for depressive symptoms. Whether it’s weight training, a 10 minute walk or a jog around your neighborhood make sure to release those mood boosting endorphins.
Make time for yourself
Practice self-care and look out for yourself during the holiday period. The holidays are a wonderful period to reflect, reassess and make plans for the future.
Did you find some great strategies for dealing with depression over the holidays? What are some ways you deal with it? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this post with someone you think can benefit from these tips.