There are gifts to wrap and lists to make and parties to attend and festive meals to cook. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but, for some of us, the holidays trigger depression instead. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s important to take time for you; and remember to breathe deeply and find moments filled with peace and quiet.
Keep Expectations Modest
Your holiday doesn’t need to be perfect. It doesn’t even need to be the same as it has always been. You don’t need to buy family and friends loads of presents or host the perfect family dinner. Make things easy on yourself by doing a gift exchange or hosting a holiday potluck meal. Scale down your holiday decorations. Remember to focus on enjoying your loved ones rather than the number of things you accomplished while preparing for your festivities.
Do Something Different
Just because it’s tradition doesn’t mean it has to be done. It’s okay to do something different from what you’ve always done. If a holiday tradition is causing anxiety or high levels of stress, it’s okay to say no. Create a new tradition with your family instead – something relaxing to you. It’s okay to eat out for a holiday dinner, go to the movies on Christmas, or choose to stay home from a Christmas party. Pick one or two traditions to celebrate this year – give yourself the freedom to not do it all.
Sometimes serving others brings us joy. Try volunteering at a soup kitchen or giving to families in need. Find a local charitable organization that could use your help.
Lean on Your Support System
Talk to your family and close friends about how you are feeling. Check in regularly with your therapist. Schedule daily or weekly time with your loved ones, either in person or over the phone. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. Ask your family to help with the holiday cooking and preparations this year. Give yourself the freedom to receive help from the people close to you.
If this holiday season has triggered seasonal depression, give Trusted ER a visit. We are here for you 24/7, and we want to help you enjoy this Holiday season.