The holiday season is popularly depicted as a time full of light and joy…but beneath that attractive surface, many people are plagued with stress and sadness. Whether they come from family troubles, unpleasant memories, or the anxiety of always having something to do and somewhere to be, these seasonal doldrums are something almost everyone will experience at some point in their lives. Use these five ways to beat the holiday blues and make it to January with your head held high.
1. Take time to breathe.
If your life during the holidays seems like a whirlwind of activity, those conditions are basically a pressure cooker of stress. Try to keep everything in perspective: the world won’t stop turning if you take fifteen minutes every morning or afternoon to stop and relax. Learn some gentle yoga moves or practice mindful breathing to help yourself feel centered and calm.
2. Don’t neglect physical activity.
Too many people wait until their New Year’s resolutions kick in before they hit the gym. But why miss out on all those positive exercise endorphins during the month when you probably need them the most? You don’t need to bench press 200 pounds or run a marathon, but raising your heartbeat for 30 minutes a day will help you feel better in both body and mind.
3. If things go wrong, do your best to let them go.
A gift doesn’t ship in time for Christmas? Family drama gets out of hand? First batch of decorated cookies burn? It’s just life. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into resentment or frustration over any of it. Being intentional about maintaining a good attitude is one of the most important things you can do to beat the holiday blues.
4. Take nutritional supplements.
The same hormonal imbalances that cause Seasonal Affective Disorder can rear their heads during the holidays. Fortunately, there are plenty of vitamins and herbs that can help perk up your mood. Take vitamin D supplements to make up for the wintertime reduction in sun exposure, B vitamins, and fish oil. Many people report that St. John’s Wort has a positive impact on depressive moods when taken regularly, and valerian root can mitigate anxiety.
5. Don’t isolate yourself
Even if you feel like crawling into bed and hibernating all winter, isolation can end up making you feel even worse. Whether that means meeting up with friends, having a trained home companion, participating in a candlelight service or holiday event, or unburdening yourself to a therapist, spending time with people you trust can have a major effect on well being.
No matter which holiday ailments may plague you this season, remember that it’s well within your power to beat the holiday blues. Just remember, it’ll all be over soon, so do your best to enjoy it while you can. Should you need some extra help or companionship around your home this season, we’re just a phone call away.