Families today are no longer all in one area. Sisters, brothers and parents may all be scattered throughout the country, or the world. It may no longer be possible to get together to celebrate the holidays. The emptiness of spending a holiday alone may be too much to handle.
Find ways to combat the feelings of loneliness. Volunteer time at a shelter or spend time providing food baskets to those less fortunate. Invite other friends whose families are also not around to have a special holiday dinner together.
Around the holiday season, there are usually numerous free or low cost holiday concerts and activities. Spend time enjoying these activities or volunteer your time to make these activities successful.
Choose the People You Want to Be With
Family is not always who you want to be with. Family may not be the people that make you feel good about yourself. Family may not be supportive of your goals or your situation. In that case, seek out friends that may also need support during the holiday season and get together with people that make you feel good about yourself, your situation and your life.
Financial situations are unique to each person. Review your finances and determine what you may be able to afford or not afford during this holiday season. Stick with your budget. Overspending will only make you feel guilty and can add to depression. If finances are tight, eliminate people you usually buy gifts for. You may want to limit gift giving to just children or you may want to give a plate of homemade cookies rather than buying an expensive gift. The holiday season has spiritual meaning for most people. Accept that gifts are an extra, not a necessity.
Limit Activities to Avoid Overwhelm
There are many places to go, things to see, people to visit during the holiday season. You may have shopping to complete, children’s plays or recitals to attend, cupcakes to make for school parties and entertaining guests in your home. Decide which events are important and which you can gracefully decline. Spend time doing what you feel is important rather than what other people feel you should be doing.
Stay Away from Alcohol
Alcohol consumption can increase symptoms of depression and anxiety. Holiday parties, however, often have an unlimited flow of alcoholic beverages. It is easy to drink too much but then feel guilty about it later. If you feel you will be tempted at a certain party, send your regrets and do something else that does not include alcohol or volunteer to be the designated driver to eliminate the need to drink.
Give Yourself Time Each Day
Find fifteen minutes each day to sit quietly, reflect or meditate. Taking a few minutes each day can allow you to regenerate and renew your energy. Add this time on to your daily schedule. Sometimes, knowing you will take fifteen minutes later can help you through a stressful or hectic time during your day.
Accept Your Life
Life does not always happen the way you want it to. It is what keeps life interesting. We need not measure our life by the number of bumps but rather by how we handle those bumps. Look at your reaction to situations that don’t work out the way you had planned and see if you can change your reaction to one of opportunity for something better rather than one of failure.
Depression is real and can hurt not only the person suffering but also all those people in their lives. Taking the time to get treatment and finding ways to control depression can help you and your family to have a more peaceful, more rewarding holiday season.