Holiday Overload. Preventing Holiday overload is something we want to put in place as Thanksgiving is next week and before you know it Christmas and New Year’s and everything that comes with the Holidays will hit us just like it does every year. For most this time of year is filled with fun and excitement. For others, it’s a time of loneliness and depression, days filled with obligation, guilt, and doing things you really don’t want to do. Part of what happens during the holiday season is our mood changes and anxiety occurs because of the stress of overdoing it. Overdrinking, overeating, and fatigue causes it. The demands of the season are many: shopping, cooking, travel, house guests, family reunions, office parties, shopping and extra financial burdens.
Here are 10 Tips I use to get through the holiday season:
1. Develop a reasonable schedule. Don’t overbook yourself into a state of exhaustion–this makes people cranky, irritable, and depressed.
2. Prioritize and Organize your time.
3. Remember, no matter what your plans, the holidays do not automatically take away feelings of aloneness, sadness, frustration, anger, and. fear.
4. Be careful about resentments from past holidays. Declare an amnesty with whichever family member or friend you are feeling past resentments.
5. Don’t expect the holidays to be just as they were when you were a child. They NEVER are. You’re not the same as when you were a child, and no one else in the family is either.
6. Don’t have any plans for the Holidays? Volunteer to serve holiday dinner at a homeless shelter. Work with any number of groups that help underprivileged or hospitalized children at the holidays. There are many opportunities for doing community service. No one can be depressed when they are doing community service.
7. Plan unstructured, low-cost fun holiday activities: window-shop and look at the holiday decorations. Look at people’s Christmas lighting on their homes, take a trip to the mountains, etc.–the opportunities are endless.
8. If you drink, do not let the holidays become a reason for over-indulging and hangovers. This will exacerbate your depression and anxiety. Contrary to popular opinion, alcohol is a depressant.
9. Give yourself a break; create time for yourself to do the things YOU love and need to do for your physical and mental wellness: aerobic exercise, yoga, massage, taking long fast walks or any activity that calms you down and gives you a better perspective on what is important in your life. Laugh a lot.
10. If the Holiday Blues become overwhelming and affects your normal level of functioning seeking a Therapist is always the right thing to do.
Please let me know if I can be of help. Call me at (858) 735-1139 Happy Holidays