With all the events that happen in such a short amount of time, people can experience stress and depression. Once stress and depression start to set in, it’s hard to stop it. It is better to prevent stress and depression before they start. The following paragraphs include several tips for reducing stress and depression.
Acknowledge your feelings and reach out. It is normal to feel sadness and grief when you recently lost a loved one or can’t be with family during the holidays. It is okay to cry. You do not have to force yourself to be happy because it’s the holidays. If you are feeling lonely look for community or religious events to attend as they can offer support and companionship. Volunteering is another way to lift your spirits while helping others.
Be realistic and learn to say no. This year’s holiday party does not have to outdo last year’s holiday party. As family dynamics change, traditions may have to change with them. In addition to being realistic, sometimes you just have to say no. You do not have to attend every party that you are invited to.
Set aside differences. While you may not agree with the life choices that certain family members make, the holidays are not a time to bring them up. Be understanding of others if things don’t go as planned, they may be feeling the effects of holiday stress/depression as well.
Set a budget and plan ahead. During the holidays plan out a budget for food and gifts. To work with a limited budget try to make your gifts instead of buying them. Also try a family gift exchange instead of buying something for everyone. If you are hosting a holiday meal ask each family to contribute a side dish so that you don’t have to make everything. Plan a menu and then make your shopping list so that you don’t have to run to the store for last minute ingredients.
Set aside time for yourself. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself over the holidays. Reading a book, getting a massage or going for a walk are great ways to relax and release stress.
Seek support. If you are feeling unusually sad or anxious reach out to a family or a friend. You do not have to face those feeling alone. If the feelings of despair or helplessness continue to grow stronger, it may be time to seek professional support from your doctor or mental health professional.