Managing Depression During the Holidays

With the holiday season upon us, many of us push harder than ever by keeping ourselves busy and believing we are really just fine. That is until we stop for long enough to realize how exhausted we really are. Many feel they can’t afford to slow down, but at times like this, it is more important that we take time to replenish our inner resources. According to experts, more people become depressed or anxious during the holidays than any other time of year, due to an increase in demands, family issues, being unable to manage expectations and also increasing financial worries and wanting to fulfill your Christmas list for family and friends. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed by multiple responsibilities, not to mention your monthly bills.
FAMILY ISSUES:
The holidays are synonymous with family, so any and / all family related issues may come to the forefront during this time such as loss, dysfunction, addiction, disconnection, abuse, separation, estrangement, divorce, and financial issues. If you are someone who is already working on managing your depression, this will be an additional emotional roller-coaster and burden. This is something that won’t go away on its own without effective communication, love, and support.
Unfortunately, when we get wound up too tight, it can be hard to figure out how to unwind, but I’d like to share some simple ways to relax that can be beneficial for your mental and emotional well-being and make your days a lot more enjoyable and comfortable. My suggestions include rest, laughter exercise, plenty of water and healthy eating.
Sometimes it is hard to admit that we need to rest, but it’s a simple truth. When you sleep, not only are you physically recharging your system, you are also giving your mind and eyes time to rest as well. For those very reasons, it is extremely helpful to establish a regular sleep routine. By sticking to it as much as you can, you should be rested and ready to face those busy days ahead. Even when you aren’t actually sleeping, you can still rest your mind by finding some pleasant activity to do for short periods, like reading a book, playing a puzzle game, working on a favorite hobby, or just relaxing, listening to some soft music. Music is a powerful way of loosening up and releasing built up stress.
As for my next suggestion, many have probably heard it before. If you want to relax, find reasons to laugh. Laughter oxygenates your blood and relieves stress, which in turn boosts your immune response. It naturally improves your mood and even burns off a few calories as well! In order to get your daily dose of laughter, enjoy a pleasant visit with friends, read a funny book, or watch shows on the television that make you laugh. I guarantee that a good 15 minutes of laughing will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
And let us not forget about exercise. Exercise helps boost your endorphin levels and is good for your heart and blood vessels. Even if your schedule is busy, try to set aside time for daily exercise, even if it’s just 15 minutes. Walking around the block several times during lunch, making a short dash to the local park, or even putting music on at home and dancing through a few songs will do wonders for your body and mind!

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