For many, the holidays are a wonderful time of the year. Spending it with family, friends, parties, giving and receiving gifts, vacations and more. For others, it’s a time of loneliness, sadness, and depression.
Some of us feel like we are looking into other people's homes with their beautiful trees and decorations, gifts, food, a dog and happy smiling faces, while we are feeling isolated out in the cold.
Over commercialization hits us in the face. The second Halloween finishes, Thanksgiving is on the docket, followed by Christmas and New Year. Financial stress, family obligations, insomnia, and overindulgence are only a handful of things that seem to haunt us. Putting things off until the new year can make for a depressing beginning of the year. Add this to a blender of emotions.
Some of the ways to avoid these pitfalls, are, pacing yourself, don’t overspend, try to keep things simple so that you don’t drift into depression or trying to numb yourself in anticipation of the season. Try to surround yourself with people who are caring and supportive. If visiting people across the country consider renting a car and staying in a hotel so you can recharge and be your best self for shorter periods of time. Prioritize the important activities, to be more present and mindful. Volunteering to give to those who don't have family, are on the street or mentally ill, but don't overdo it, make sure to carve out time for yourself.
Drinking or drugs may make you more relaxed in the short term but can lead to self-criticism and depression. Be aware that shorter darker days can cause seasonal affective disorder where people tend to sleep more. Take good care of yourself this season.