Holiday Cheer-less: 7 Ways to Cope with Grief and Depression
If grief, stress, or depression is certain to be part of your holiday season, there are ways to soldier through and make it a bit more bearable.
You might have a range of reasons to not feel full of holiday cheer, including the illness or death of a loved one, stress associated with mental health conditions, divorce or other family upheaval, and more. Here are seven ways to help you get through the holidays:
#1: Accept this season for what it is.
Acceptance is often the first step towards any kind of healing. Perhaps you've always loved the holidays, and yet, this year, you just can't face them. Accept that they'll happen—and eventually that this time, too, shall pass.
#2: Be honest about your feelings.
The holidays can make us feel our sorrow or depression keenly. It's all right to be honest with your feelings, mourn your loss, and face what you can do. Choose the company of friends and family who will support you during this time.
#3: It's OK to say no.
Additional responsibilities and social invitations can add layers of stress that aren't present during other times of the year. These commitments can test even the healthiest and heartiest. Reduce your load and be realistic about what you can—or want to—commit to.
#4: Avoid excess.
It's tempting to overindulge this time of year, whether that's in retail therapy or in holiday treats. Make and stick to a budget for your shopping. Exercise restraint when it comes to holiday eating and drinking. Increased debt and added pounds won't be welcome in your future.
#5: Make peace if possible.
Family gatherings can absolutely be stressful, especially if your family has had differences or you're struggling in the wake of divorce or loss. Yet, sometimes our anticipation of the event is worse than the event itself. If possible, make peace with family and celebrate your traditions together.
#6: Stay connected.
Grief and depression can feel especially isolating over the holidays. Make an effort to stay connected. Reach out to friends for companionship and support. If you can, stay involved in your regular activities, and consider volunteering.
#7: Get help when you need it.
When you're struggling, therapy can help. And generally, if you think something is wrong, it often is. Relief—and the help you need—is only a phone call away. For more info, visit http://guadapsych.com/
Guada Psychological Services