How to Handle Holiday Depression

Holidays create stress for many people.


Pressure to purchase gifts and attend social gatherings can affect your mood and eventually causes depression in many of us. And Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can send your spirits plummeting. Here are some guidelines to help you deal with holiday depression.

Realize you are not alone in feeling down during the holiday season. Many others are affected by feeling less than cheerful.

Get some exercise three or four times a week to kick in endorphins, the feel-good hormone.

Avoid imbibing too much alcohol, a powerful depressant. If you're not chronically depressed, small amounts of eggnog or other light alcoholic beverages should not affect you.

Indulge in a few pieces of candy or chocolate, but don't overdo it. You don't want to guilt-trip yourself, affecting your precarious mood.

Pamper yourself with special treats. Buy or do something that makes you feel special. It needn't be expensive.

Volunteer your time for charitable causes. A toy drive for needy children, or used winter coats or jackets for homeless folks can make you feel part of the community, lifting your spirits by helping others.

Don't over-extend your credit buying luxury items for people. Simple, affordable items, which show your thoughtfulness, are good enough.

Be selective about which parties you attend. Cozy, intimate low-key gatherings won't demand too much of you.

Use indoor light therapy if you suffer from SAD, but consult first with a medical provider.

Turn your thoughts towards positive aspects of your life, and you will stand a better chance of surviving the holidays without succumbing to depression.

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