Keeping up with the Holiday Blues
Every year, the holidays represent the best of times for some and the worst of times for others. It’s a time when connectedness is emphasized, or the lack thereof, family or work related obligations are packed into the schedule, money is tight, and we still feel the hopes and dreams of all the years, wondering if they will be fulfilled or not.
Even in the midst of crowds, business and family relations, greeting cards, gatherings over the table, and parties, even the most gregarious of people can feel lonely. For those who don’t have friends and family to gather with, and may not get any cards, it can be a difficult season that highlights aloneness and disconnect from having those loving and supportive relationships.
Without trivializing anyone’s holiday experiences, we would like folks to know that we’re here for support and help.
Here’s A List To Combat The Holiday Blues
Make a list of things for which you’re thankful. Focusing on the positive, no matter how small or big of things you’re thankful for will help take your mind off of the pit of negativity that surrounds depression and loneliness.
Go outside. The shorter days of winter months have less sunlight available to warm the body and soul. Exposing yourself to sunlight while getting some fresh air helps to boost the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps to regulate mood, and gives you more Vitamin D.
Exercise! Head to the gym, go on a walk or run. Join a jogging club and sign up for a race, such as a Turkey Trot to help combat the holiday weight gain. Exercise helps to release endorphins, which also aids in a temporary boost in mood.
Volunteer. There are lots of campaigns for toy drives, feeding the homeless and needy, and other volunteer efforts for those less fortunate. Whatever it is that you need the most, be the first to give it away. Whatever compassion and connectedness you want in your life, give it to someone else who needs it. Usually, it will find its way back to you.
Eat some veggies. Stay away from sugar and sweets, as alluring as they are. Although sugar provides some momentary relief and satisfaction, over the long run, sugary foods can lead to increased severity of depressive symptoms.
Seek out online support groups and read up on how to fight depression, whether it’s long term or seasonal. Building a variety of supports and coping skills will help you move through the blues. Coming down with the holiday blues doesn’t have to be your master, you can master it.