Be Reasonable | Establish realistic expectations for events, meals, travel, and gift exchanges. Forget about the perfect gift. It’s the thought that counts. Remember the simpler, the better.
Be Frugal (but not a Grinch) | It is important to establish a modest budget and stick to it. Don’t overspend too much this holiday season. Be generous and hospitable, but not decadent.
An Attitude of Gratitude| Take time each day to reflect (either privately or with others) and be thankful for the blessings in your life. There are no small blessings, only an underappreciation of those that exist. Start simple: health in body, mind, spirit; family; friends; housing; food; clothing; opportunities; freedoms, etc.
Giving | While it is always nice to receive during the holidays, perhaps the most rewarding experience is to give of our time, treasure, or talent to those less fortunate. Studies have shown that the act of giving in a meaningful way is more fulfilling than the act of “getting.” Help a neighbor with a meal or shoveling; volunteer at a food pantry or other event.
Eat Drink and Be Merry (within reason) | Yes, the holidays are a time of indulgence, but do so wisely. Be aware that alcohol is a depressant and will not help one’s blues become any lighter; actually quite the opposite. So be prudent. While foods rich in fat, sugar, and salt can be soothing, they are also addictive and should be enjoyed in moderation.
Exercise | If you are regularly active, maintain your fitness routine. If you are not normally active, get up and do something sustained and rigorous for at least 30 minutes per day. There is no better way to regulate blood sugar, stress hormones, and metabolism. In parts of Europe, it is customary to go for a short walk after each meal (la
Go Light on Social Media | As tempting as it may be to post holiday photos and peruse those of your Facebook friends,
Plan for the Post-Holiday Lull | While holiday blues are a reality that affects many, just as challenging can be the letdown after New Year’s has passed. The short-daylight and cold temperatures between early January and late March can be bleak. Find some events to attend or plan one of your own. Again, stay active!
There is a difference between the holiday blues, which typically go away when the holiday season ends, and more severe depression, which lasts longer and interferes with activities of daily living. If the holiday season passes and you’re still feeling depressed or anxious, it’s best to consult with a medical professional. Learn more about DKH's behavioral health services or call us at 860-963-6385.