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How to Beat Holiday Depression and Stress

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As the beloved Christmas carol “Deck the Halls” proclaims gleefully, “’tis to the season to be jolly!” Nevertheless, many individuals find themselves feeling blue and depressed as the holiday season swings into full gear. Many feel overwhelmed by the list of functions to attend and presents to buy, while others dread the hustle and bustle of the shopping centers and retail establishments across the nation. Fortunately, beating the holiday blues is not an impossible task! With a bit of determination and effort, bringing enjoyment back to the Christmas season is a very real possibility!

For those who have experienced loss during the past year or are struggling with familial issues, Christmas can be an incredibly difficult time. Whereas past holidays may have been spent with loved ones gathered around the tree and enjoying a great meal together, the present may feel bleak and depressing. If you find yourself missing those who are no longer part of your life, you may want to consider getting out and meeting new people during the holiday season. Though finding the motivation to attend social functions and holiday parties can be difficult, by building new connections and strengthening bonds with casual acquaintances, you’ll be cementing new relationships that will lift your spirit.

Purchasing gifts for everyone on the Christmas list is another element of the season that seems to zap the energy out of people. While the holidays are supposed to be about giving to others, it is easy to feel like everyone is simply looking for a new present. If you feel overwhelmed about the entire prospect of giving gifts to those around you, consider making donations to charities in their names. If financial difficulties make it implausible for you to give gifts or make financial contributions, volunteering at a local food kitchen or homeless shelter can be a great way to support a worthy cause. Such activities will also make you feel more thankful for the things you possess, and take away some of the materialistic focus that can plague the holiday season.

Still others feel disappointed with themselves for not having accomplished much over the course of the past year. As January rolls around, so does resolution time, and many feel like they have an entire laundry list of complaints and failures to sort through. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the past year, try to focus on the positive things you’ve been able to experience and accomplish. You may also want to write a letter to express your feelings on paper. Doing so can prove to be a therapeutic way to come to terms with your emotions and get past any lingering feelings of anger or resentment.

Regardless of what works best for you, remember to take time for yourself. It can be easy to forget your own needs and desires at Christmas time, but make your well-being a priority. In doing so, you’ll allow others around you to share in the joyous celebrations with you participating!

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