While the holidays are meant to be a joyous time, many people experience holiday stress and depression. After all, this is a demanding season (e.g., shopping, errands, big crowds, social obligations, dealing with family), during which you may also feel lonely and isolated. There’s also seasonal affective disorder (SAD) to contend with as the days are shorter and the weather is often cooler. The pressure to put a smile on your face throughout this season may worsen your feelings. However, there are a few things that you can do to help make yourself feel better.
Maintain healthy habits.
With everything that’s going on throughout the holiday season, it can become challenging to maintain healthy habits. However, doing so is an integral part of combating holiday stress and depression. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet, and stay physically active. Additionally, it’s vital that you maintain as much of your daily routine (e.g., working out, personal care, and attending groups that you typically follow, like book clubs) as possible. Try to fit your holiday obligations around these things instead of allowing the festivities to upset your life.
The holiday season can be long and impactful of commitments and responsibilities. The best way to combat holiday stress and depression is to create a list of your expectations. Make sure to include what others expect of you. A great way to take note of what’s going on in your life throughout this season is to list things on a calendar. Remember, not everything will fit, and not everything needs to. You don’t have to do everything, nor does everything have to be perfect.
Take care of your mental health.
It’s important to embrace any feelings you may encounter throughout the holiday season, especially if you already have mental health concerns. Make sure you maintain the mental health habits you’ve found work for you. If you find that you’re feeling overwhelmed, make sure you tell your therapist about this feeling.
Don’t overbook yourself.
Even those who typically do a great job of saying “no” may find themselves being overcommitted throughout the holiday season. After all, it’s easy to get carried away with holiday whimsy. To avoid the holiday stress and depression that comes from being overbooked, make sure you consider what’s really important to you and where you want to invest your time. Remember, it’s OK to say “no” to other things.
It’s also important to understand that it’s perfectly acceptable to say “no” to holiday traditions too. Traditions are meant to change over time as new traditions come along. So, if you find that a tradition is contributing to your holiday stress and depression, maybe it’s time to do away with it or create a new one.
Do things that’ll help you relax.
With all the changes that the holiday season brings about, remember to focus on the small things that help you relax. Something as simple as disconnecting from the Internet for a few minutes can help you step back from the demands people place on your life, your calendar, and your to-do list. Another small thing that you can do for yourself is to pause and listen to some of your favorite music. Doing so will help release feel-good chemicals in your brain.
Reach out for the help you need.
If you find that holiday stress and depression are still unbearable, know that TMS Advantage Clearwater in Clearwater, FL, is here for you. We understand how tough this season can be and have appointments available if you’ll reach out to us today.
Picture Credit: VistaCreate