The holiday season can be magical and filled with joy for some, while others may find this time of the year especially hard. If you find you have anxiety or maybe you are feeling down or depressed, you may have the holiday blues. What is the holiday blues you ask? Simply put, symptoms including depression and anxiety that occur during the holiday season. Holiday blues are usually distinguished from full clinical psychiatric diagnoses such as major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or seasonal affective disorder, which have specific diagnostic criteria in terms of the type and duration of symptoms.
A lot of seasonal factors can trigger the holiday blues such as, less sunlight, changes in your diet or routine, alcohol at parties, over-commercialization, or the inability to be with friends or family. These are all factors that can seriously affect your mood. However, there are certain things you can do to help avoid the holiday blues. We have compiled a list of tips and tricks that can help if you are feeling the holiday blues this year.
Give Yourself a break
Take time for yourself and relax. Sleep is important, the holidays can be exhausting for anyone, from long family gatherings to fighting crowds while Christmas shopping. Make it a point to allow yourself plenty of time to get uninterrupted sleep (at least 7-8 hours per night).
You may find yourself needing more sleep than usual around this time and let’s face it, nobody is in a very positive mood when sleep deprived!
Don’t Break the Bank
Gifts do not have to be elaborate or expensive in order to be appreciated. Plan a budget, ask others for creative ideas, and give yourself plenty of time to shop. If you have a budget, you can avoid those dreadful bill opening moments and feel confident you are in a good place.
Eat and drink in moderation. It might sound fun to eat all the cookies or drink all the rum punch but when you don’t feel great the next day it will make even the simplest tasks harder. If you are feeling down, don’t turn to alcohol — it usually makes things worse in the long run.
Know Your Limit
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or under the weather this season, practice saying ‘no’ and scheduling even more time for self-care and doing things that bring you joy. Taking on too many things will only spark feelings of stress that ultimately leave you exhausted and unable to properly cope with emotions.
Make a List
Make a to-do list. Lists can help you manage all the things you have to keep track of during the season. It will ease your stress and allow you to put the millions of things going through your brain on the back burner and take time for you.
This time of year, can be joyous, but it can also be full of sadness and anxiety. Know it is ok to ask for help. If you need someone to help, put things into perspective, and teach you healthy coping skills Shore Clinical TMS & Wellness Center can help.
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