Once again the holidays are upon us, for many, is a time of year filled with happiness and joy. But for others, it is a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness, and anxiety. And it’s no wonder. In an effort to pull off a perfect holiday, you might find yourself balancing a dizzying array of demands – shopping, parties, family obligations, cooking, and cleaning, which may contribute to feeling of being overwhelmed and increasing tension.

We’re supposed to look forward to the holidays and hope that they will be a time of happiness, friendliness, fellowship, and harmony. However, unfortunately despite this, the holidays can also lead to depression and overall unhappiness rightfully known as the “holiday blues.” The holiday blues can result when one experiences amplified levels of stress that often come with the anxiety of the usual expectations during this time. People may also develop other stress responses such as headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating and difficulty sleeping.

According to the National Mental Health Association, reasons for feeling blue around the holidays are numerous. They range from fatigue, a result of all of the increased holiday activity, to financial limitations and family tensions. Experts say one of the fastest routes to holiday depression is unrealistic expectations.

Don’t let all of the pressures of shopping, coordinating social functions, negotiating family issues and missing lost loved ones overwhelm you this holiday season. There are a number of things you can do to keep stress, anxiety and depression at bay:

  • Make realistic expectations for the holiday season.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Pace yourself. Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle.
  • Make a list and prioritize the important activities. This can help make holiday tasks more manageable.
  • Live “in the moment” and enjoy the present.
  • Look to the future with optimism.
  • Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and sadness by comparing today with the “good old days” of the past.
  • If you are lonely, try volunteering some of your time to help others.
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol, since excessive drinking will only increase your feelings of depression.
  • Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way.
  • Spend time with supportive and caring people.
  • Reach out and make new friends.
  • Make time to contact a long lost friend or relative and spread some holiday cheer.
  • Let others share the responsibilities of holiday tasks.
  • Make time for yourself.

If despite your best efforts to remain upbeat this holiday season, you find yourself feeling down for a sustained period of time, get help. Don’t try to “tough it out” alone. Creative Care located in Los Angeles, CA would honor the opportunity to help you, please contact us today for more information on depression treatment centers.