5 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress & Depression

The holidays aren’t always full of joy and merriment for everyone.

With all the parties, family gatherings, anxiety over seeing the uncle who drinks too much, and pressure to cook, clean, buy gifts for everyone and mail out photo cards of your family, stress and depression can easily cloud out the holiday spirit. (Throw a child’s birthday in the mix and it’s easy to feel consumed by the month of December, lemme tell ya.)

But have no fear, we’ve got tips on how to stay above the fray this holiday season:

  1. Go for a run. Or walk briskly, or snowshoe if there’s snow. Lift weights or chop wood if that’s your thing. Just exercise to burn off the stress (and extra Christmas cookies), will ya?
  2. Find a way to relax, be it through yoga, meditation, taking time to read a book, or by treating yourself to a massage.
  3. Keep focused on what’s important. It’s not vital to make the perfect fruit cake or follow the family traditions of making a back-breaking Christmas dinner every year. Sure, it’s nice to eat great food, but the holidays are more about gathering with family or friends, affirming your faith and enjoying the company of others. It’s OK to look for shortcuts.
  4. Set a budget. In my family, we often make it clear beforehand that there will be gifts only for the children, not the adults. It helps to keep costs from spiraling out of control. And to remember that money and gifts don’t make Christmas or Hanukkah magical.
  5. Look for opportunities to break the mold and enjoy a non-traditional holiday season. It’s been a while for me, but I have fond memories of enjoying Christmas Eve while camping or with a group of friends in a city where I don’t usually spend the holidays. Or look for opportunities to volunteer on Christmas Day. Sometimes it’s rejuvenating to break out of the norm.

You can also find more tips at the Mayo Clinic.

How do you keep positive during the holidays?

Check out these blogs if you enjoyed this one:

5 Ways to De-Stress at Work

Healthy & Affordable Gifts to Give this Holiday Season

6 Ways to Detox After the Holidays and Kick Off the New Year Right

Photo by dtweney

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