Thanksgiving has always been a day for families to get together and be thankful. It is also the official opening to the holiday season, and with that comes a lot of anxiety, stress, and yes for many, depression.
For many, the holiday season is an emotional roller-coaster. It can be a very fun and joyous time for many, but for others it is stressful and lonely. As we enjoy our holidays, let’s keep in mind those that may find this holiday season a difficult time. Those who are grieving, dealing with divorce or struggling with addiction. Those who have lost their job and are stressed about making ends meet. Those who have loved ones serving overseas and those who are dealing with illness. And those who are anxious and scared as America deals with the possibility of another terrorist attack on the homeland.
Some thoughts for making this holiday season easier:
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter, hospital, hospice or even the ASPCA. Volunteering is a great way to establish new friendships and to make a difference for something you believe in.
- Relax and have realistic goals and expectations.
- Take some time and get out for a walk or a drive. It is amazing what a little fresh air and sunlight can do.
- Watch what you eat. It’s easy with all the pies and goodies to eat too much of the wrong things.
- Stick to your daily routine. If that means exercising in the morning – than do it. If it means eating a healthy diet – stick to it.
- Reach out to a support group either online or locally. It helps to talk with others who are dealing with similar feelings.
- Stick to your budget. One of the biggest holiday stressors is worrying about finances.
- Make sure to get sleep. Your body needs a good night’s sleep.
- Do less and enjoy more! We tend to go overboard with our planning for the holidays and our expectations can be unrealistic. Make a plan and share it with your family and friends.
This year in particular, many people will be wondering how to even muster up some holiday spirit when the world is in such chaos. Well, remember the real meaning of the holidays. It is a time to be thankful, to pray for peace, to give, and to reach out to those in need.
Information contained in this blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical or psychiatric advice for individual conditions or treatment and does not substitute for a medical or psychiatric examination. A psychiatrist must make a determination about any treatment or prescription. Dr. Paul does not assume any responsibility or risk for the use of any information contained within this blog.