Posted on: December 8, 2008 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 0

It’s the most wonderful time of the year— says everyone except for you. Snow is falling, children are getting excited for the arrival of Santa Claus, and the mall is full of people searching for the perfect gift for their loved ones. Everyone around you is happy, so why can’t you get into the spirit?

This particular time of the year gives you feelings anxiety, sadness and hopelessness. This can only mean one thing: you’re suffering from holiday season depression, and you’re not alone.

Holiday season depression happens to a lot of us. It’s a form of seasonal affective disorder (a.k.a. SAD), that affects people of all ages, genders, and income levels.
You’re tired of the holidays making you feel down, and want to make a change. Here are some tips to get rid of holiday season depression. Who knows, they may even launch you into that holiday spirit once and for all!

1. Identify the Signs

You feel as sour and miserable as the Grinch, and you don’t know why. What is it that’s making you feel this way? Identifying the problem is your big step toward fighting this holiday season depression. Here are some potential reasons.

Feeling overwhelmed or stressed by the amount of preparations you need to make for this season could be a part of why you’re feeling so down. Do you get a panicked feeling when you think about the gifts you must buy, food you must cook, and so on?

Financial stress during the holidays is a huge factor for some people. Thinking about the fact that you have to spend a significant amount of money on presents and so forth could be completely overwhelming, causing you to dread this time of year.

Over commercialization of the holiday season can put a huge damper on the way you feel. If you focus on the idea that the holidays are just a time for large corporations to make tons of money, it is not surprising if you are feeling a bit down.

Finally, having unrealistic expectations of the holiday season can set you up for disappointment every single time.

2. Get Organized

If you’ve noticed that you feel extremely overwhelmed by holiday season-related tasks, it’s important to take back control by getting as organized as possible. Thinking about that list of must-do tasks can make you feel as though you are drowning. The key is to write things down, and take them one step at a time.

First of all, start off early and allow yourself plenty of time to do what you need to do.
Make a list of things that you must get done, and make yourself a timeline for each. Be sure to make your timeline realistic. You don’t want to be stuck cramming, as this will cause unnecessary stress.

Tick off each item on your list as you go. This will feel satisfying, and will keep you on the right track. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Ask your friends or family to help you with cooking, decorating, etc. Remember, you can’t do everything yourself, and that’s okay!

3. Take Control of Finances

If your holiday season depression stems from the financial burden that you can’t seem to escape from, consider exploring these tips:

When it comes to gifts, it really is the thought that counts. Consider creating some frugal, yet heart-felt gifts for your friends and family. Use this as an opportunity to get creative! Your friends and family will appreciate the unique gesture.

Consider holding a potluck this year. Holiday dinners can be expensive, so you want to avoid being responsible for feeding a small army on your tiny budget. Simply assign a dish to each family you will be hosting. They won’t mind one bit, and your financial stress will reduce significantly.

Be sure to set yourself a budget for everything holiday-related, and try not to surpass it. No matter the situation, there will always be a way to cut costs!

4. Be good to your Body

The holiday season can be exhausting, and is a very difficult time to avoid unwanted weight-gain.

Feeling sluggish during this time of year can keep you from fully enjoying time with your family and friends. Here’s how to take better care of your body during the holidays.
Although it will be difficult, it’s important for you to continue to eat right. Avoid those holiday sweets, say no to gravy, and fill your plate up with as many vegetables as possible. Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to indulge, as you will wind up regretting it later on.

Find the time to exercise. Although the weather outside is frightful, you must still engage in some form of exercise during the holidays. Try to work out for at least 20 minutes, 5 days of the week. If you keep this up, you should notice a huge difference in your mood.

Finally, be sure to get enough sleep. People have a tendency to use the business of the holiday season as an excuse to skip- out on catching some z’s. Try your best to go to bed early, and get at least 8 hours of sleep. This will help you to avoid fatigue and bad moods related to holiday season depression.

5. Focus on the Important Things

Try your best to shift focus when it comes to the true meaning of the holidays. As said before, over commercialization can shift people’s perspective away from what truly matters to them during this time.

Avoid any negative pressures by focusing on things most important to you. Take a moment to ponder what the holidays mean to you. Block out that feeling that they are all about prestige, image, and spending money. The holidays can contain any meaning you want, as long as you put your mind to it.

If you’ve decided that the holidays mean time with family, use that to your advantage! Plan family events and get-togethers galore. Go sledding, create holiday crafts together, etc.
Perhaps you think that the holidays mean giving back, and that’s great too! Volunteer to give back to your community. This will leave you feeling great.

No matter what the holidays mean to you, shift your focus to the positive, and run with it. Soon enough you’ll have a much better outlook on the holiday season.

You can get rid of holiday season depression by making the right changes and sticking to them religiously. No one wants to feel down, especially during this time of year. You deserve to have a happy holiday, so don’t hesitate to try out some of these tips. Good luck, and happy holidays!

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