The holidays are a time of joy, family, friends, celebration, giving, thankfulness, gratitude, and the list goes on. People are popping up Christmas trees, menorahs, holiday lights, decorating, but do you feel like none of it seems to bring you happiness? Do you feel more stressed than usual? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and better yet, there are steps you can take to step out of it.
“I think a lot of people would say that the holidays are the worst time of the year,” says Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “They’re just straight up miserable, and that’s not only for people with clinical depression.”
If your symptoms feel like they may be severe, I would always recommend you go and speak with a licensed therapist or your medical doctor, but if you think it just may be something associated with the holidays, here are some steps you can take to help you beat the holiday blues:
- Step out of your uncomfortable zone. If you think being around certain places or visiting certain family members are bringing you down, why not try planning a trip for this holiday, or planning dinner out? Consider switching up plans this year just to go somewhere you will feel happy.
- Take care of your needs first. Do things that will make you feel calm and happy. Work on your hobby, go for a run, take a long bath, whatever little things you may save for yourself, go out of your way to do them.
- Lean on your friends and family for support. The people who love you are there for you no matter what. It’s important to reach out and ask for help, specifically explaining what is making you depressed. Sometimes having an objective perspective helps, sometimes just knowing someone is listening helps.
- Get into the spirit of giving. It’s a fact that giving makes us feel better. Go out of you way to help others during this time. Whether that means volunteering, or leaving surprise gifts for others, donating to charity, do something for another person to give yourself meaning.
- (From WebMd) Don’t worry about things that are out of your control. Differentiate between what you have specific control over and what you don’t. Then set aside those things you don’t and step away from it. Life happens, and we, as a humanity, have a beautiful resilience. You may not like the outcomes, but that is not for you to stress about – as the old tautology teaches us, it is what it is.
- Find a new hobby. There are so many fun and creative things you can do which will help alleviate your stress! Check out Meetup.com to find different interest groups and meet new people. Peruse through your local hobby store, or Amazon crafts and hobbies, and pick up some crafting supplies. Sometimes getting your mind onto something gets your mind off other things.
- Make a to-do list. Making lists helps to visualize all the tasks at hand. If this seems overwhelming, break it down into a day-by-day list of tasks, prioritize, and then feel the awesome sensation of checking each one off as you accomplish them. To help with this, work on one task at a time and see it through completion before moving on.
- Shop online. Shopping for gifts is super difficult, but with all the features of the internet, you can knock it out in one sitting. Check out our website for beautiful stocking-stuffers and office gifts, or our pre-made gift sets to make things even easier, and then check out Amazon for their special holiday deals!
We hope some of these tips make the holiday season seem less daunting and cheer you up!