Feeling down during the holidays can be hard especially since everyone seems so happy. Believe it or not many people who you seem happy during the holidays are also stressed and depressed. So if the family gatherings, the endless parties, and the shopping get you down, you’re not alone. However people with depression need to be especially careful when coping with holiday stress. . Here are some tips to reduce stress and hopefully find holiday joy.
Finding the Holiday Spirit: Emotions
1. Have modest expectations. Don’t worry about what the holidays are supposed to be like and how you’re supposed to feel. Don’t worry about holiday spirit and take the holidays as they come.
2. Do something different. If the prospect of the usual routine fills you with dread rather than joy try not to surrender to it. Try something different to get into the spirit.
3. Lean on your support system. During the holidays, take time to get together with your support team regularly or at least keep in touch by phone to keep yourself centered.
6. Volunteer. Consider taking time to help people who have less than you. Try volunteering at a soup kitchen or working for a toy drive.
Finding the Holiday Spirit: Family
7. Head off problems. Think about what people or situations trigger your holiday stress and figure out ways to avoid them.
8. Ask for help . People may be more willing to help out than you expect; they just need some guidance from you on what to do.
9. Don’t worry about things beyond your control. You can’t control others but you can control your own reaction to the situation.
Finding the Holiday Spirit: Parties
12. Don’t overbook. Don’t say yes to every invitation. Think about which parties you really want to attend.
13. Don’t stay longer than you want. Going to a party doesn’t obligate you to stay until the end. Stay as long as you can and leave when you are ready.
Finding the Holiday Spirit: Shopping
15. Forget about the perfect gift. If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry about finding the absolute best gift. Remember: everybody likes a gift card.
16. Shop online. Save yourself the inconvenience, the crowds by doing most of your shopping online.
17. Stick to a budget. The cost of holiday shopping can grow very quickly, try to stick to a budget.
Finding the Holiday Spirit: Self-Care
18. Stay on schedule. As much as you possibly can, try to stick with your normal routine during the holidays. Disrupting your schedule can make your mood deteriorate.
19. Exercise. While you may not feel like you have the time to exercise during the holidays, the benefits are worth it.
20. Eat sensibly. When you’re facing a dozen holiday parties and family gatherings between now and New Year’s, it’s hard to stay committed to a sensible diet. But try. . On the other hand, don’t beat yourself up if you go overboard some days. It’s not a big deal. Just get back on track the next day.
21. Try a sun lamp. As the daylight grows shorter, lots of people feel more depressed and sad. A sun lamp may help to improve your mood.