I've read that many people find themselves in a deep state of depression during the holiday season. Research has found that depression is enormously demanding both emotionally and physically, and fighting depression is a huge battle. Mental health professionals say you must make a commitment to yourself if you are going to win this fight. While I don't think I'm depressed right now, I do feel like I'm just a mess. I am so disorganized (or is it unorganized?), whatever, I'm it. And while I wouldn't characterize myself as being in the depths of despair, I am feeling sort of 'blah' and 'blue', and I do feel like a roller coaster of emotions at this time of year, and I do feel physically and emotionally drained. So I was happy to come across this advice.
Helpful tips to ward off depression:
1. Commit yourself to exercise, force yourself if you must, exercise is a mood elevator.
2. Eat small, and eat often, nurture yourself with nutrition, and don't forget to indulge yourself once in awhile.
3. Identify the causes of your depression but don't dwell on them. Release your feelings, talk to a good friend or two, or if you don't feel that you can pour your heart out to anyone , pour your heart out to yourself. Keep a journal.
4. Express yourself through art, writing, drawing, even doodling can be cathartic. Or concentrate on a favorite hobby, that too can be very therapeutic.
5. Reach out. Sometimes the last thing we want to do is reach out and help another when we are feeling even too helpless and hopeless to help ourselves, but helping others can be the best medicine of all. Volunteer your time at a local nursing home, hospital, school, or homeless shelter. Or start a collection to help those less fortunate, at the holidays or any time of year you could collect toys for children who would otherwise do without, or maybe a food drive donated to families in need.
6. Start a project. Nothing too big or overwhelming, make sure it is a project you can finish. Don't commit yourself to tackling the job of finally getting all your photos into albums, just commit to going through a few old photos and finish one small album, don't clean and organize your whole desk, just clean out one desk drawer, and don't try to tackle cleaning out your whole closet, just find three things you can live without and donate them.
7. Count your Blessings. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we have much to be thankful for. Take pen and paper in hand and list all the positives in your life.
8. At the holidays remember that less is more. There is no rule that says you have to 'go all out' every year. Let this be the year you commit to scaling back. Don't take out every decoration from storage, do the bare minimum when decorating. Decide this year that you will gather in the kitchen to bake cookies together (instead of slaving over the stove by yourself making a big meal), and then order a pizza and enjoy it along with your fresh-baked cookies sitting at the table with your family and friends. Do a buffet instead of a formal 'sit-down' meal. Decide on the traditions that mean the most to you and your loved ones and concentrate on those few.
9. Socialize. When feeling depressed it is easy to cocoon yourself away from the world, but that only serves to further descend you into the gloom cavity. A few hours spent with friends can go a long way to lift your spirits.
10. Be prepared to seek treatment. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to seek help from a professional.
And I'm going to add this one ~ PRAY. No matter which Faith you follow, no matter if you are attached to an organized religion or not , pray. I'm a big believer in the power of prayer, or rather, I'm a big believer in the Power of God, and I'm a big believer in the empowerment He bestows on us when we seek Him.
How do you battle the 'blues'?
Wishing you all a very Blessed and 'blues-free' season!
2 weeks ago