It’s a myth that suicide is more common around the holidays (springtime is the peak). However, holiday cheer can be a buzz kill as well.
High expectations, money woes, and other holiday issues can spell trouble for anyone, but especially those prone for depression. With a bit of foresight and planning, however, holidays can leave you feeling up, not down.
Here are some tips to help you have a successful and Joyful Holiday Season:
- Plan ahead—spend time figuring out how to take care of yourself during this season. Set routines, read a book take a nap. Put this on your calendar so you don’t fall by the wayside.
- Avoid conflict—if you know there will be conflict prepare for neutral responses, such as “Let’s talk about that at another time”. And escape in to the restroom, offer help in the kitchen, hand out with the kids, give a friend a call.
- Forget perfection—trying to find the perfect gift or perfect decoration can leave you overwhelmed. List simple things that make you and your family happy begin traditions that help the less fortunate.
- Learn to grieve—if you are mourning for a loved one, talk about your feelings, feelings are a sign that you are human and reflect where you are in the healing process.
- Schedule some sleep—be extra careful about cutting back on sleep time during the holidays just to get everything done. Sleep loss has a direct link to depressing. Avoid large meals and physical activity before bedtime, make your bedroom fee from distractions.
- Prioritize workouts—exercise helps with stress, burn the holiday calories and improves your moods.
- Focus on what matters—financial woes can make you lose sight on what mattes, saying no is more of a relief instead of stretching and spending more than you have and still not doing enough.
- Cut back on commitments—if you feel like you can’t get through one more holiday gathering, it is ok to sit it out.
- Don’t Binge on food or alcohol—Alcohol can intensify your emotions and leave your feelings worse when it wears off.
- Get Help—lean on your family and close friends during your blackout periods. Contact your physician or attend a support group.
Written by LaVella Head