This time of year can be a time of great happiness and celebration for some—and a time of immense stress or even “the blues”, for others. The spirit of gift giving, parties and family get-togethers is often also accompanied by complex family dynamics, sorted histories and a multitude of other challenges, complicating an already hectic time of year.
It is also a time when loss can be highlighted. It can be empty nesting for the first X-mas or retirement, death in the family or other trauma. The holiday can be colored blue by these situations.
Whether you deal with seasonal blues or situational blue of the “first” holiday coping with loss, it’s imperative to head off holiday blues and practice loving compassion towards self and other.
8 Tips for Beating the Holiday Blues and/or Situational Depression
1) Alter your image and expectations of the “ideal Christmas.” Start some new traditions, take a break from cooking and order take out. (My personal favorite!)
2) Do something creative that’s holiday-related or not…Maybe it’s journaling your vision for your holiday or making something nice for yourself. Maybe it’s hand addressing X-mas cards or using labels instead of hand addressing.
3) Practice a random act of kindness every day in December (or more days than not). This can really help you get out of yourself and your sadness and pay it forward in a positive vibe way that brightens or helps others while at the same time, soothes and helps you!
4) Spend time with loved ones. (or not if need be-LOL) Then give yourself permission to NOT be with stressful people or situations.
5) Limit or eliminate “obligatory” commitments. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.
6) Focus on what’s good this holiday season. (Write down 3 gratitudes per day) Yes, write them down! Take is a step further and write down 3 positives about yourself or someone who is irritating to you. It can change your perspective and your feelings.
7) Shift your perspective. You have control over what you choose to think about and focus on.
8) Put in and stick to boundaries.
While even the approach and anticipation of the holiday season can be enough to induce or exacerbate signs and symptoms of sadness, it is possible to make it through this time of year without major incident and actually enjoy the holidays! However, this requires both self-awareness and insight on you need, the situations that bring stress, and being proactive about circumventing the challenges before they actually arise.
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Adapted from the article https://daringtolivefully.com/beat-the-holiday-blues.