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Holiday Depression: Empower Yourself continued...

The first step, Grusd tells WebMD, is to determine what the purpose of your trip is. "Are you going to make connections with family members? Or is the purpose just to go and relax and enjoy yourself?" Then the next step is to tell yourself "over and over again, 'I am going to make this work.'"

Grusd urges patients with holiday depression to make that phrase a mantra. "There are going to be circumstances out of your control," she says. "But you prepare yourself to say, 'Whatever I can control, I'm going to control.'" If you are depressed or have the blues, Grusd tells WebMD, you tend to feel like you have no power over things when you become frustrated. She says, though, that you can choose to evaluate the situation as a challenge. Then you can let yourself enjoy the challenge rather than feeling like a victim.

How does that actually work when you travel? "In a long line at the airport," Grusd says, "you can talk to the person behind you or in front of you and get to know someone. You can tell yourself you don't need to be in a rush. The purpose of a vacation is to slow down and enjoy. If there's a delay at the airport, you can look at it as time to read a book. That way you stay in control instead of feeling the vacation's controlling you."

Travelling With Depression: Setting Goals

Muskin recommends setting goals for your vacation. "Start by thinking about the pleasures you are going to have on the trip. And then set goals for yourself and your family. Ask yourself and your partner," he says, "what it is you want to bring away from this trip."

Make sure the goals you set are attainable. For example, Muskin says, if you're going fishing, is your goal to catch the largest blue marlin in the Gulf, or is it to sit back, relax, and enjoy the outing with your partner or your kids? "If you have something you want to bring back from the vacation," he says, "especially if that's shared by other members of your family, you can stay focused on that and not get caught up in other things that really don't matter."

10 Triggers for Holiday Blues

Typical causes of holiday stress -- and what you can do about them.
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