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How to beat holiday depression

Updated on September 23, 2008
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Sunshine is a wife, mother of four, a relationship expert, a journalist, a photographer, a public speaker, and author.

Holiday Ickies

Keep the focus on yourself. I know, laugh, shake your head, and walk away. Depression creeps into the soul of many people. Not only are you still balancing your time with work and tasks that you have to do every day, but now you're adding in parties, shopping, money, and trying to make everyone happy. Many things such as stress, financial worries, not being able to see loved ones, fatigue, and not being able to fulfill the comercialized portrait of the holiday season leave you feeling overwhealmed, unable to sleep, and the icky blues. Another factor is shorter grey days, and more darkness.

Some things you can do to combat the holiday blues are:

  • Be realistic. If Christmas cards to every person in the world is going to send you over the edge, don't do it. If Aunt Fae makes you want to go on a murderous rampage, suggest she stay at a nice hotel.
  • Make lists. Do what's on them, and scratch them off. You'll feel accomplished.
  • Ask for help if you need it. Have a gift wrapping, or gift making party with friends.
  • Don't forget the simple things, such as driving around and looking at lights, stirring your hot cocoa with a candy cane, and laughing like a fool.
  • Volunteer. You'll feel good about giving back.
  • Limit alchohol, becuase it's a depressant.
  • Limit caffeene
  • Don't overspend. Create a budget, and stick to it.
  • Don't forget about yourself. Get a pedicure, manicure, massage, or whatever makes you feel spoiled.
  • Escape to somewhere sunny if you need to. Life will go on if you aren't there for the stress. Sunlight will boost your mood.

If you don't focus on yourself during the holiday season, it's easy to fall into a slump. You are the most important person to take care of, because if you don't, the holidays aren't happy for anyone. If the changes you make don't make you feel any better, than you may be suffering from a more serious disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which may require therapy. If you feel that is the case, speak to your doctor.

Don't let the holidays get you down
Don't let the holidays get you down


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    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Very good advice. Most people look forward to the holidays, but we seldom think of those who have to fight the depressive side.

    • profile image

      RatRodMama 9 years ago

      Took a few days off and went to see a girlfriend, didn't do much. We sat around late in the mornings in our jammies and remembered those close to us and those no longer with us and the silly things that all of our kids did & we laughed so hard it made us cry. It was great and I came home feeling recharged. Self is important, somethimes that is the most difficult thing to remember.

    • TexasLady profile image

      TexasLady 9 years ago from Texas

      I was feeling kind of down and out about Christmas today. Check didnt come in, pantry is dwindling, dog tracked mud in, etc ad nauseum.

      A friend suggested we do something about it. She is taking me, lil ol me, to lunch on Saturday. I swear it will be the best gift I get this Christmas.