Not feeling so merry & bright? Does the holiday season, a time meant to bring enough joy and cheer to carry us through the next year, have you feeling less than jolly? If so, you’re truly not alone.For single people, in particular, the Christmas and New Year holidays can be a very isolated time. All the holiday cheer can make people dealing with death, divorce or family dysfunction feel more out of place, and more miserable.
And even if you’re surrounded by family and friends, this time of year can bring more than its fair share of stress, noise, anxiety and family arguments.
Add this to mounting money worries, family conflicts, job problems or bereavement, and it’s no wonder calls to depression and suicide hotlines rise by nearly ten percent during the winter holiday season.
What can you do if the holidays get you down? Healthy advice:
Sunlight and fresh air will naturally help alleviate depression anytime of the year, but especially during the winter months when we spend most of the daylight hours working indoors. Even catching 15 minutes of sunlight can boost your mood.
Get out of your head
In the midst of a funk, it can be difficult to see you’re not the only one struggling. One sure way to make you feel better about yourself is to spend more time helping others. If you don’t have the time or inclination to get involved with volunteering, what about spending time with a single elderly neighbor, or offering to drive someone else’s children to school?
Exercise is a great mood booster. Researchers have found that walking 30 minutes each day can improve depressed patients’ symptoms faster than antidepressant drugs.
If you can’t muster energy to do anything else, pick up the phone and talk to someone. Go have a coffee with a friend. Surround yourself with positive people, and people who accept you for who you are.