The Holidays are not joyful for everyone. This time of year can also be associated with stress and loneliness. To ease the blues, make sure to stay physically active, to focus on beneficial relationships, and to take part in activities that you find gratifying.
If you feel exhausted, helpless, and hopeless, it can be difficult to take action to help yourself. But recognizing that you may be suffering from depression is already a step in the right direction. Here are a few suggestions to help you start to feel better.
- If you’re not feeling well, don’t wait long before seeing a professional. Research has shown that the longer people wait, the greater the impact can be down the road.
- Get moving! Physical activity has a very positive impact on mood, in addition to allowing you to soak in the sunlight and meet other people. Even if you feel exhausted, make the effort to be active. Often, once you get started, you begin to enjoy the activity. Getting started is often the hard part.
- Try to spend time outdoors every day to make the most of daylight. Being depressed in the winter can also be a sign of seasonal affective disorder, which is caused by a lack of sunlight. In these cases, using lights that mimic daylight may also provide relief.
- Set realistic goals for yourself and establish priorities.
- Spend time with trusted friends or relatives. Don’t isolate yourself, and let others help you.
- Postpone important decisions, such as getting married, getting divorced or changing jobs, until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
Even though we’d like to feel better right away, depression can rarely be lifted overnight. Be patient and kind with yourself, while continuing to take care of yourself and staying in touch with people who have a positive effect on you. Bit by bit, the sun will begin to shine again.