The holidays are a time for enjoying our family, showing appreciation, or celebrating our faith. For many, however, the stress related to the holidays can lead to feeling depressed. Rates of depression and stress increase significantly during the holidays. We often set high or even unrealistic expectations during this time leaving us tired and moody. Here are some tips to help enjoy the holidays:
- Keep your expectations realistic and balanced. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t worry about the things you have no control over. You may need to re-evaluate your holiday agenda and family traditions. Don’t do too much, rest when your body tells you to.
- For many, volunteering is a big part of the holidays, but many bite off more than they can chew. Pick one organization you’d like to volunteer for and decide in advance how much time and effort you can afford to give. Don’t be afraid to say “no”.
- Don’t overspend. Create a reasonable budget and stick to it. The “perfect” gift may not fit into your budget. Again, don’t be afraid to say “no”.
- Avoid emotional eating. Watch your diet and remember to exercise. Though it’s completely normal to eat more during the holidays, don’t end up regretting it after. Enjoy a walk after a big holiday meal.
- Some people find themselves feeling lonely during the holidays. Don’t isolate yourself. Find a reason to get out of the house. Try something new, join a group, or invest some time into those who may be less fortunate than you.
- Take advantage of the moment to get outside during the day. Many people suffer depression due to a lack of sunlight because of shorter days and bad weather.
- Remember, it is normal to have bad days or days where you are feeling down. But if you are feeling down for many days in a row and are unmotivated to do things you normally would enjoy, see your doctor. It is particularly important to get help if you are feeling hopeless, experiencing changes in your appetite or sleeping patterns, having thoughts of suicide, or turning to drugs or alcohol for relief.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact our Juvenile Receiving Center at 385-468-4500 to speak with one of our counselors.