Managing Stress and Depression - The Holiday Blues

Yes it's true. This holiday season there'll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow. However, for many people, the holiday season is not always the most wonderful time of the year. During this season, from Thanksgiving to New Year's, the demands of the holiday season can lead one to feel stressed and depressed - hence the Holiday Blues.

Shopping while battling crowds, back-to-back- holiday parties, and reuniting with relatives are just a few potential stressors during the holiday season. Alongside this, feelings of loneliness and isolation are also common. It's normal to experience a range of emotions during the holiday season. And with these few helpful tips, you can better prepare yourself for a joyful season and beat back the holiday blues.

  1. Keep with your Healthy Habits
  2. Keeping with your healthy habits during the holiday season will help prevent you from feeling stressed or burnt out. Get enough sleep, practice healthy eating habits (even at social gatherings), and stay physically active. Don't let a span of 30 days change what you've been doing for the past 11 months.

  3. Be Realistic
  4. Don't worry about everything being perfect, and be comfortable with that idea. "There's a lot of cultural pressure during the holidays," said Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). "We tend to compare ourselves with these idealized notions of perfect families and perfect holiday."

  5. Take a Break
  6. Give yourself some time away from the hype. Yes, the holidays are the season for giving, but taking a breaking, even for just 30 minutes a day, can refresh your mood. Your own mental and physical well-being comes first. And remember, alcohol is a depressant. Try to find another coping mechanism like reading a book or watching a movie if you're feeling down or overwhelmed.

  7. Make Minor Adjustments
  8. In the past, holidays may have been a special time for you. However, trying to recreate exactly what happened a long time ago can set you up for sadness if things don't turn out the way you want them too. Have some fun and create new memories.

  9. Stay Positive
  10. It's really interesting how reuniting with family, friends, and relatives can highlight how one views what has or has not changed in their life. Don't get yourself wrapped up in this notion. Take what you see with a pinch of salt, even on social media. Don't compare yourself to others. Remember each snowflake has its own unique identity.

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