The holidays can be stressful for a lot of people. Whether it be a break from their routine, societal expectations placed on them, or even unpleasant memories from their past, many reasons can cause people to dread the upcoming holiday season. Listed below are some tips from the Mayo Clinic (https://mayocl.in/2TmTQer) on how to prevent holiday stress and depression.
- Acknowledge your feelings. Its okay to feel sad when you lose a loved one or even when you lose a dream. If the holidays trigger those feelings, recognize them for what they are, feelings, and memories and allow yourself to feel temporary sadness.
- Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community activities or friends. Host a dinner party for others who may feel the same way, or visit a nursing home - share the smiles.
- Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or like they used to be. Welcome change and create new traditions while keeping a few from your past to hold on to. Mix it up.
- Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don't live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they're feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.
- Stick to a budget. Overextending yourself will cause you to feel more depressed later. Handmade gifts are always welcomed as are charitable donations made in honor of the recipient. And, don’t feel pressured to buy the latest expensive toy your child will only play with briefly.
- Plan ahead. Having a plan will alleviate some of your shopping and entertaining stress. We have included a great one on or website.
- Learn to say no. You do not have to go to every dinner party, social gathering or work event. Pace yourself and set limits.
If you feel as though you just cannot find enjoyment, or are feeling intensely overwhelmed and sad, seek professional help. There is no shame in reaching out.
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