If you feel unhappy this holiday season, you are not alone. Feelings of sadness and loneliness are common, so don’t feel that something is necessarily wrong just because you are not enjoying yourself as much as others. Remembering happy holiday memories we wish we could go back to or remembering loved ones that have passed can make this season difficult.
The holidays are also a stressful time of year. For example, increased family obligations and social commitments combined with added financial stress may seem overwhelming. Additionally, the darker and colder weather may negatively affect your mood. Some even suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). SAD is a condition in which certain less favorable weather during certain seasons may cause depression. This condition can greatly intensify holiday blues.
Tips for overcoming holiday blues
The first step in beating the holiday blues is to remember to not feel bad for feeling bad. Unnecessary guilt will just make things worse. Even if everyone around you seems to be in the holiday spirit, remember that you are not alone. It is not unusual to feel sad during the holiday season.
Remember to take care of yourself physically as well. Binging or over-indulging may cause you to feel guilty for your choices and increase your unhappiness. Making healthy choices can not only be good for you physically but will help you feel better about yourself and improve your mood too.
Another way to boost your mood while improving your health is to exercise. In some cases, regular exercise is as effective in boosting your mood as prescription antidepressants.
Next, remember to keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. An occasional glass of your favorite alcoholic holiday beverages will most likely not harm you. However, keep in mind that alcohol can be a strong depressant.
Consider volunteering as well. Taking some time out to help at a soup kitchen or a food pantry can make you feel thankful and consider the positive parts of your life.
However, in all the hustle and bustle of doing things for others this season, remember to take time for yourself too. If lots of activity has you feeling drained, try to take a day to yourself. Buy yourself something special, get a new piece of clothing that makes you feel good or a piece of art for your home that makes you feel happy.
Don’t feel obligated to buy a lot of gifts for others either. Remember that it truly is the thought that counts. Focus on small but thoughtful items or find enjoyment in creating something instead of trying to purchase many expensive items.
If your holiday blues feel impossible to overcome on your own, please do not delay in reaching out to one of our providers. You can find a list of them here: http://www.ccmhhealth.com/providers/.
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