Depression During the Holidays

7 Ways You Can Beat the Holiday Blues

Depression During the Holidays

It’s that time of the year again. Families have feasted on turkeys and hams. Shoppers have lined the stores for unbeatable Black Friday deals. Moms and dads are starting to shuffle their kids to holiday parties and festivities. The city is full of holiday music and elves can be spotted on shelves up above. Holidays have a way of reshuffling our activities, our routine, and everything else!

There are those of us who thrive in this mayhem and there are those of us who feel left out of the whole scene.

Take note of your feelings. Just wishing them away won’t make them go away. There are people who feel alone in a crowd and wonder if any of this really matters in the end. The holidays can be a time of reflection, sure. But, don’t let your feelings dictate your actions or keep you from enjoying the true spirit of Christmas – giving, spending time with loved ones, and reflecting on the year.

Here are the top ways to reduce that lonely feeling and redirect your attention this holiday season.

1. De-stress with a time out just for you.

This may seem counterintuitive to someone who is lonely. Having an hour or two just for you and your thoughts may actually help you gain perspective on the season. Are you doing too much with family and friends? Are activities causing you to feel more stressed instead of engaged? Take a time out to help your regain your energy. You’ll feel fresher and more alert.

2. Grab a book and sit down with a hot cup of peppermint tea.

Peppermint tea is beneficial in boosting your immune system, aiding in digestion, and relieving fevers, coughs, and nausea. With cold season in full swing, a hot cup of peppermint tea can be helpful in keeping your body functioning at its best as well as keeping those negative thoughts and feelings at bay.

3. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or community center.

Just seeing how your life can help someone in need is a fantastic way to gain a healthier perspective during the season. John Holmes said it best, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”

4. Take your dog on an extended walk or on a different route.

Just seeing their lively behavior and curiosity can help energize your attitude. Watching him scurry to see that squirrel or new doggy friend can help you refocus your attention to what is going on externally and help you temporarily forget about the feelings of loneliness. The longer 25 to 30 minute walk will help get your blood circulation flowing and boost those endorphins in your body. Experts suggest 20-30 minute walks three times a week to help alleviate feelings of loneliness.

5. Invite a good friend over for a relaxed afternoon.

Keep a free afternoon for enjoying company where you don’t need to be the host or hostess of the day. Just relaxing on the couch talking with a close friend or watching a movie that you both enjoy can help you feel more connected.

6. Try out a meditation class.

Or practice these meditation techniques. They are a sure way to refocus and re-engage your attention and energy.

7. Let someone know.

If you feel like everything is spiraling out of control, don’t be afraid to get help. Just having someone to talk to can make all the difference even if it seems insignificant to you. You do matter. You are loved.

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