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Tips for Dealing With Holiday Stress or Depression

holiday depression is treatable with talk therapyWhile many of us look forward to the holiday season, others find that November and December are some of the most difficult months of the year. So how can you cope with those feelings of holiday stress or depression? It’s not so difficult when you approach this sensitive time of year with a game plan. Below are some tips for getting through the holidays with a little bit of self-care — and maybe even enjoying a holly, jolly ride along the way.

#1: Learn to say “Thanks, but no”

From annual parties to reunions and special events at work, November and December are some of the busiest months of the year. Don’t forget gift shopping, using up your unused insurance benefits, and all the other tasks you complete at the end of the year. When you overcommit, you end up feeling stressed and even resentful. So what can you do to keep from overwhelming yourself and your schedule this time of year? Learn how to (graciously) say no. It starts with thanks, and it ends with, well, no.

#2: Try to stay in your routine

If you struggle with feelings of depression or anxiety around the holidays, now is not the time to get out of your routine. Make a point to stay on top of your visits to the therapist, and continue going to the gym just like you would. Continuity is important for keeping some sense of stability when everything else seems to be operating on a different frequency.

#3: Avoid overeating and drinking

Many people become depressed during the winter as a result of the extra weight they gain around the holidays. To prevent the additional pounds, and to protect your overall health, be cognizant of what you’re eating, and when. Eat a full, balanced meal before big parties with unlimited snacks and drinks — you’ll be less likely to overindulge if you aren’t hungry when you arrive. Committing to drinking a glass of water between beers or glasses of wine is a good way to monitor your alcohol consumption.

#4: Talk about your feelings

No matter how hard you try, you may still find feelings of depression and/or anxiety creeping through during the holidays. When it happens to you, don’t be afraid to reach out to your therapist or someone you love. Talking about your feelings and looking for opportunities to connect with a friend or family member are so important for your sanity and continued wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re feeling sad or depressed — you may be surprised how much just saying the words can help you work through those sensations.

The holiday season is in full swing. Are you prepared? Contact Kristen Hardin LPC to set a game plan for approaching this often difficult time of year.

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