This is a guest post written by one of our Bees, Stephanie Modkins
Some of us experience depression during the holidays. The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) states that sixty-four percent of mental health sufferers feel more depressed during the holiday season. The causes vary, but common ones include a lack of income and social isolation. So, if you fit into this category, learning how to cope with your emotions is vital.
Below are five helpful options.
No. 1: Create New Traditions.
Early on, your family traditions impact what you expect to happen during the holidays. These customs dictate what you eat, and how much you spend. So, when a surprise event disrupts the usual flow, you get upset.
But, instead of wallowing in misery, use the incident to reflect and reprioritize. For example, if money is tight, roast a chicken instead of a turkey. Both birds are tasty. Make a few of your gifts from scratch. These adjustments might better fit your budget and bring your household closer together.
No. 2: Do More Self-care.
As the holidays ensue, take care of yourself. Sleep eight hours each night. Avoid overindulging in alcohol (a depressant). Relax by walking around the neighborhood or at a park. And say, “no.” Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many commitments. All the above tactics will help ease stress and improve your ability to cope with life.
No. 3: Limit Toxic Connections.
This one is tough because family members often fall into this group. Consequently, you may not be able to avoid them during the holidays. But you can limit your conversations with that brother or aunt who pushes your buttons.
Decide ahead of Thanksgiving or Christmas day to focus on peace. Ignore slights and preplan a way to remove yourself from a toxic environment. Dismiss yourself to the bathroom, take a walk outside, or clean the kitchen. Don’t allow anyone to steal your joy.
No. 4: Write Daily Gratitude Lists.
Mental health experts link gratitude to happiness. This feeling supersedes money, fame, and power. Be more grateful by writing daily acknowledgments.
Start by buying an inexpensive notebook and pen. Then, by the end of each day, write down at least three things you enjoyed that happened to you. Keep this up throughout the holidays and beyond to lessen your chances of depression.
No. 5: Reach out to Others Through Volunteerism.
This process achieves two important things. You engage with people who have good energy. And, you (often) realize that compared to some folk, your life isn’t so bad. Homeless shelters, hospitals, and churches often need extra help during the holidays. Call local ones and discover how you can assist them.
In conclusion, depression affects some of us during the holidays. So, it’s vital to know ways to overcome this emotion. The above five options are a few of them. Use them and see your way toward a jollier season.
Editor’s Note: Stephanie Modkins is an active Mobee user. She spent her childhood as a military dependent traveling to different places like the Philippines. This experience taught her the value of diversity. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, playing cards, and watching singing competitions.