The holiday season can trigger depression or "the blues". Some triggers include financial issues and the inability to get home for the holidays. Seasonal depression is more common than you may think. Approximately 14% of Americans experience the “winter blues.”
Here are nine ways to deal with the holiday blues:
Limit alcohol – Limit your alcohol intake, and try not to keep it readily available around your house. If you’re attending a party and you know alcohol will be accessible, limit yourself to one or two drinks. Drinking to excess can affect your mood and amplify any negative feelings that you may have.
Get plenty of sleep – Try to go to bed at a specific time each night. Being well-rested can improve your mood and help you feel ready to take on the day.
Learn to say “no” – Overscheduling and not making time for yourself can lead to emotional breakdowns. Learn how to say “no,” and stay firm on your decision.
Be open to new traditions – You may have an image of what you think the holiday should consist of, and this may not be what’s actually happening. Instead of holding on to what the holiday should have been, allow new traditions to unfold.
Get support when mourning a loved one – If you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be especially tough. Although it can be tempting to isolate yourself and grieve, it can be beneficial to spend time with your friends and family. They can support you through this difficult time.
Spend time with your loved ones – Instead of spending the holidays alone at home, get your friends or family together for a dinner party at your place.
Exercise regularly – Plug in your headphones and pop out for a walk around the block a couple of times a day. A quick 10-minute walk will get your heart rate up and release mood-boosting endorphins.
Do something fun to get over a recent breakup – It can be difficult to be alone when you’re nursing an aching heart. Instead of sitting at home, fill up your calendar with activities.
Avoid overeating – Before heading out to social events, fill up on veggies. You can even fill up a small sandwich bag and snack in the car. Holiday outings can often lead to overeating, which can affect your mood and overall well-being.