Tips to Avoid Holiday Depression

» Posted by on Nov 13, 2016 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

Tips to Avoid Holiday Depression

It’s holiday time, so you should have plenty of holiday cheer right? Unfortunately “holiday cheer” isn’t automatic for everyone. In fact, this time of year can often add extra stress due to time constraints, travel, money concerns, and stress overload. This can often lead to holiday depression. We want you to have the best possible holiday season this year, so here is a quick list of tips to help you avoid the holiday depression slump!

  • SET ASIDE “YOU” TIME. With so many added commitments, obligation, and responsibilities this time of year, taking time to do something for yourself can seem impossible. But it is very important. Taking time for yourself will give you a renewed sense of focus, energy, and a better outlook. Schedule time for yourself daily, weekly, and monthly, and stick to that schedule. If you normally workout everyday, keep your gym time and schedule your extra to-do’s around it. If you have been putting off going to get that massage, set 1 hour aside this month and do it, even if it means you miss out on a Black Friday Sale. Your mind and body will thank you for the much needed time and attention.
  • LEARN TO SAY “NO”.  It is likely that this time of year will find you with many additional invites or requests for your time or energy for a cause. While it would be great to be able to attend every party and participate at every food drive, it just isn’t realistic. When you get an invite, priortize it and decide if it is more important than the other obligations whose place it would be filling. If it truly is more important fit it in and go. If it isn’t, politely decline the invite and focus on the obligations you have already committed to. Don’t allow yourself to feel bad for saying no. It may seem harsh to turn down invites, but in all honesty, it is worse to show up somewhere and not be present because you have too many other things that are draining your attention.
  • AVOID FAMILY CONFLICTS. This time of year may force you to be around an acquaintance or family member that continually starts conflict with you. If this is the case, just be ready to diffuse the issue and avoid the conflict completely. This person likely isn’t someone that you deal with on a daily basis, and mroe than likely nothing about the conflict will be resolved over turkey this year if you haven’t been able to resolve it in the past. Don’t let someone toxic ruin your holiday. If the person starts in, simply have a neutral comment ready such as, “I understand that you feel that way”, and then find a reason to excuse yourself from that immediate interaction. For example, offer to help in the kitchen, watch the children, or let the dog out. Avoiding the issue won’t solve the problem, but again, the problem likely won’t be solved in front of an audience or in one dinner.
  • LET GO OF UNREALISTIC GOALS. If you are a chronic perfectionist, the holidays can really throw you for a loop. Trying to have the “perfect” decoration, give the “perfect” gifts, always arrive on time, and make everyone happy can really dampen your own enjoyment of the season. While it is great that you want everything to be “right” for everyone else, that will never happen. Thinking that you will please everyone is totally unrealistic. Focus on a few traditions and things that truly make you and your immediate family happy and do those things, without expecting perfection. If your children want to decorate the tree and it looks absolutely lopsided afterwards, who really cares if they had fun doing it? Most people don’t look back at the holiday time and remember what years the turkey was perfect and who cooked it, but they do remember the way their family treated them and how they made them feel.
  • DELEGATE YOUR TASKS.If you are hosting a holiday dinner at your house and realize that you are going to be stressed to the max, ask someone to bring the gravy. It may seem like your are pawning off your responsibility, but in reality most people like contributing to family gatherings and being included. Don’t feel bad for asking for help. This can be a great time to bond with family members and to allow everyone to contribute and feel like part of the family.
  • AVOID ALCOHOL.This may seem contradictory to celebrating at the holidays, but this one tip can save you quite a bit of stress. Sure having one cocktail isn’t the end of the world, but with so many parties and get togethers, drinking at every one can be a really bad idea. Alcohol has been shown to lower your immune response, opening you up to illness, which can ruin your holidays. Additionally, drinking will lessen your focus and decrease control over your emotions, which can lead to regrets and conflicts. Also, while many believe that alcohol will help them sleep when stressed, this is actually not true. Drinking alcohol can actually increase the number of times you wake up during the middle of the night needing to use the bathroom, interrupting your sleep cycle. We’re not saying don’t have a sip of eggnog, we’re just saying don’t overdo it.

If you feel like you are suffering from Depression, please reach out today. We have licensed therapists ready to assist you with your path to a better mental and emotional place.

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