As we make our way through this holiday season, many people will encounter feelings of depression. While you look at others who are seemingly happy, it’s important to take care of yourself and realize that the joyful images of the holidays can be dimmed by loss, loneliness and isolation.
Getting together with family can also bring back difficult memories of our upbringing. When we visit with our families, we can quickly and without realizing fall back into old behavioral patterns from when we were kids. These patterns often are dysfunctional and lead us to become anxious and depressed. But planning ahead and getting support can help. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make some time for yourself. Spending just 10 or 15 minutes alone, without any distractions, may refresh you. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
Some options include:
- Taking a walk.
- Listening to relaxing music.
- Getting a massage.
- Reading that book you’ve been looking forward to.
- Set aside differences. Right now, just try to accept family members and friends as they are. Set aside grievances and try to find a positive aspect to help you connect when you get together. Be understanding if someone gets upset or stressed, they may be going through the same thing as you.
- Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died, a relationship has ended or you can’t be with loved ones you want to be with, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. Why try to force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season. Do the best you can, that’s quite a lot!
Instead of dreading the holidays, take steps to prevent stress and depression that can appear during the holidays. Learn how to recognize your holiday triggers, so you can combat them. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you too can find joy during the holidays.
If you would like help, just give me a call or sent an email: