This post was originally published on December 3, 2016
The latest update to this post was made 5 years ago.
Holiday times are a tough time for many. Depression hits people who are alone or have families. Even if you do not suffer from depression any other time of the year, the holiday stress can bring on depression. Family gatherings, work parties, extended family parties, school parties, gift exchange and shopping all increase stress and anxiety. The best way to reduce this stress and anxiety is to slow down and take time for yourself not forgetting to get plenty of rest.
Holiday parties are full of happy excited people. All your senses can be on overload after one hour at one of these parties. Family gatherings are also stressful. There is always that one judgmental relative. Take a deep breath and smile. Let their words hit a wall. These relatives think they know best and truly have a good heart. They just have no filter.
When you smile and thank them, they usually move on to someone else. Give it a try to see if it works. No matter what the key to reduce the stress and anxiety is to smile and laugh. Smiling and laughing releases dopamine into your blood stream. This is what keeps a person happy. So laugh!
Keep yourself away from stressful situations. Holidays can be a lonely time. Do not get back with an ex during the holidays. You broke up with him/her for a reason so remember this. The normal stress of the holidays mixed with trying to make things work with an ex equals disaster!
Don’t pick the holidays to bring up issues with your family, friends or co-workers! There is a time and a place and the holidays are not the time or place. Issues you have should be taken care of at other times when people are not dealing with the normal holiday stress and anxiety.
Laughing and smiling during stressful situations can be helpful. If you cannot do this, then make sure you remove yourself from the situation to gather yourself. Take the time and self-heal. Remember the holidays are a happy time for your to share yourself with family and friends. Don’t let depression wrap its ugly arms around you.
Need help immediately (or know someone who does)? Feel like things are out of control? Here are some contacts you can reach out to 24/7:
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline – (800) 273-8255
- The Samaritans Crisis Hotline – (212) 673-3000