For many people, the holidays represent a time of joy, happiness, and peace on Earth with goodwill towards men. Unfortunately, if you’re divorced, estranged from your family or friends, or just plain lonely, the holidays can be a painful time. It is easy to fall into a downward spiral of depression and return to past comforts, such as alcohol or other substances. At Recovery Ways, we hate to see you hurting. So, we want to encourage you by giving you these holiday tips and tricks to help you unlink depression and the holidays.
Stress and the Holidays
One major cause of depression is the stress that surrounds the holidays. Buying and wrapping presents, having a large number of people over, and money struggles all lead to stress, and the holidays combine all three aspects. Therefore, one way to defeat holiday depression is to be a “stress buster.” We suggest:
- Buy and wrap your presents early. There’s no shame in buying your significant other’s perfect gift in August. Buying your gifts before the holidays gives you time to wrap and mail your packages without having to struggle against the holiday rush. Additionally, if you spread your purchases out throughout the year, you don’t have to spend a large amount of money all at once.
- Do your planning in advance: If you know that your parents, three brothers, two sisters, and all six cousins are coming to your house for Christmas, it can be stressful. However, it is much better to know it well before the holidays. This allows you to plan for all your guests, or make alternative plans if you decide you can’t host. Additionally, if you’re having a large number of people, have everyone bring something, so you aren’t stuck with all the cooking.
- Be honest: Some people can’t afford to buy presents for everyone. There’s no reason not to admit that. Let your loved ones know how much you wanted to buy them that fancy watch, but you couldn’t afford it. That moment of intimacy could be as thoughtful as any expensive present. Alternatively, handmade gifts show you care as well as store-bought gifts. Think back to your childhood days, and make a beautiful card or some cookies for the people you love.
Stress and the holidays don’t have to go hand in hand. Maybe you can think of other ways to make your life less stressful this time of year.
Take Care of Yourself and Others
It can be hard to do self-care during the holidays, but it’s an excellent way to defeat both depression and the holidays. Make sure you take time to be alone so that you can be at your best for all your guests. Take a hot bath or drink a warm cup of cocoa. Both of these do wonders to cheer a person up. If you’re grieving, don’t just push those feelings down. Let yourself feel the pain. Then, spend time with friends and loved ones, or do something you enjoy.
Finally, don’t isolate yourself. Depression and the holidays aren’t just hard for you. Other people get lonely around the holidays. Reach out to an old friend and meet them for dinner. Find a group to go Chrismas caroling at a nursing home or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Finding other people to be around can lift your spirits.
Recovery Ways Can Help
If depression and the holidays have already gotten to you, we want to help. Contact Recovery Ways today to see how our depression treatment program can take away the stresses and pressure of depression and the holidays.