Here are a few more tips if you’re struggling with depression during the holidays:
Lots of people get depression during the holidays. In order to feel better during the holidays, it’s so important to work at developing the habit of seeing the positive side of things. If you’re not optimistic by nature, it may take time for you to change these negative thinking patterns. Start by recognizing negative thoughts as they crop up through the day.
Then take a step back and ask yourself these key questions:
- Is the situation really as bad as I think? Is it really so terrible to go to the movies on New Year’s Eve if you haven’t been invited to a party this year?
- Is there another way to look at the situation? If finances are tight, maybe it’s time to start getting creative instead of heading off to the nearest mall. This might be the year to learn to bake bread or to write a heartfelt letter.
- What lesson can I learn from this experience? I remember complaining to my Grandmother about owning four outdated folding chairs that did not match my décor. My Nonna wisely reminded me of holiday gatherings from her youth when people ate at their dining room and kitchen tables in shifts. They didn’t even own one folding chair. They wanted their loved ones to gather and somehow that was all that mattered. That reframe certainly changed my perspective on my next gathering.
Find Your Purpose
People who strive to meet a goal or fulfill a mission — whether it’s helping those in need, caring for family or finding one’s spirituality — feel better during the holidays than those who don’t have such aspirations Don’t get so caught up in the trappings of the season, that you don’t have time for the things that excite and energize you.
It isn’t necessary to shop on Black Friday, to max out credit cards and to go to every holiday party that you’re invited to. You may enjoy a trip to the Botanical Gardens or meeting a friend for tea. Being creative will help you to develop traditions that make more sense for you and yours.
Live in the Moment
Don’t postpone joy waiting for a day when your life is less busy or less stressful. That day may never come. Instead, look for opportunities to savor the small pleasures of everyday life. Focus on the positives in the present moment. Don’t spend your time rehashing the past or worrying about the future.
That’s where meditation comes in. Meditation is the best tool that I have found for finding joy in the present. It has helped me to cultivate appreciation for every season of life and to appreciate the richness of each moment.
Our hope this season is that we can all start to develop the kind of traditions that will make us feel better during the holidays and throughout the coming year.