25 Ways to Find Joy and Balance During the Holidays
Feeling down during the holidays can be tough.
Finding the Holiday Spirit: Shopping
15. Forget about the perfect gift. If you’re already feeling
overwhelmed, now is not the time to fret about finding the absolute best gift
ever for your great aunt or your mailman. Remember: everybody likes a gift
16. Shop online. Save yourself the inconvenience, the crowds, and the
horrors of the mall parking lot by doing the bulk of your shopping online.
17. Stick to a budget. The cost of holiday shopping mounts quickly
and can make people feel out of control and anxious. So draw up a budget long
before you actually start your shopping and stick to it.
Finding the Holiday Spirit: Self-Care
18. Stay on schedule. As much as you possibly can, try to stick with
your normal routine during the holidays. Don’t stay too late at parties. Don’t
pull an all-nighter wrapping presents. Disrupting your schedule and losing out
on sleep can make your mood deteriorate.
19. Exercise. While you may not feel like you have the time to
exercise during the holidays, the benefits are worth it. “We know that exercise
has a pretty strong anti-anxiety, anti-depression effect,” says Duckworth. You
can work physical activity into your errands. When you’re shopping, take a few
extra laps around the mall. Walk your Christmas cards to the post office
instead of driving.
20. Eat sensibly. When you’re facing a dozen holiday parties and
family gatherings between now and New Year’s, it’s hard to stay committed to a
sensible diet. But try. Eating healthy may keep you feeling better --
physically and emotionally. On the other hand, don’t beat yourself up if you go
overboard on the cookie platter in the break room. It’s not a big deal. Just
get back on track the next day.
21. Don’t rely on holiday spirits (or other substances.) “The
holidays are a time of heavy drinking,” says Duckworth. “It’s a common strategy
for getting over anxiety about holiday parties or having the boss as your
Secret Santa.” Remember that alcohol is itself a depressant and abusing it will
leave you feeling worse. It also may not be safe for people taking
antidepressant medication, says Pope.
22. Try a sun lamp. As the daylight grows shorter, lots of people
find their mood gets gloomier. While some have diagnosed seasonal affective
disorder (SAD), even people who don’t may still have a seasonal aspect to their
depression. Talk to your doctor about trying a sun lamp. It could improve your
23. If you take medication, don’t miss doses. In the hustle of the
holidays, it’s easy to slack off and miss medication, says Pope. Don’t let that
happen. Make sure that you’re up-to-date on your refills, too.