The holiday season can trigger depression and anxiety for a number of reasons. Maybe you are unable to make it home for the holidays, or you may be in a tough financial situation. When you are going through a difficult time, it can be especially difficult to see others with extra joy in their lives.

One of the most common symptoms of the holiday blues is depression, and this is true of people who may or may not be dealing with depression already. Sometimes it can be hard to tell what is happening with you, you may be experiencing a bout of seasonal depression if you feel like simple activities are more difficult than they usually are. Activities such as getting out of bed, making dinner, and taking a walk. Other symptoms can include tiredness, loss of interest in activities that usually bring you joy and having trouble with concentration.

These blues can be especially overwhelming during a time of change. Christmas and New Year’s Eve often present demands and never-ending parties and family obligations. If you’re dealing with feelings of stress or depression, try and remember that you are not alone. There are ways to manage how you are feeling.

Here are a couple of ways for you to cope and manage your holiday blues.

Get Plenty Of Sleep – Try to set a specific bedtime for yourself. Being well-rested can improve your mood and help you feel ready to take on the day.

Exercise – Put in your headphones, press play on your favourite relaxation playlist, and pop out for a walk around the block a couple of times a day. A quick 10-minute walk will get your heart rate up and release mood-boosting endorphins, while also giving you a little break from holiday-related activities.

Limit Alcohol Intake- The holidays are a hard time to limit your alcohol intake, there is usually a lot of drinks to go around but drinking to excess can affect your mood and amplify any negative feelings that you may have.

Say No – Learn how to say “no”. Overscheduling and not making time to take care of yourself can lead to emotional breakdowns.

Set Realistic Expectations – Setting realistic expectations around the holidays is important for your mental health. Your image of the holidays and how they should operate might be a certain way and we all know that plans usually change. Be open and flexible to new traditions and new plans, this will help you with not feeling discouraged and disappointed.

The holidays can be an overwhelming and busy time and it is important for you to take care of yourself. There is nothing wrong with feeling the need to take time for yourself and there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help.

Published by HOLR Magazine.