When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.
Feelings: If you have experienced a death, it’s alright to feel sadness and grief. One can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.
Reach out: If you feel lonely, seek out community, religious or other social events or volunteer your time to help others.
Be realistic: As families change and grow, traditions often change. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones.
Differences: Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations.
Budgeting: Don’t try to buy happiness with gifts. Alternatives include: Donate to a charity in someone’s name, give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange.
Plan ahead: Prevent last-minute scrambling by making lists for shopping and visiting friends.
Learn to say no: Friends will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.
Healthy habits: Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.
Take a breather: Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do.
Seek professional help: If you are persistently sad or anxious, unable to sleep, irritable and unable to face routine chores, talk to your doctor.