With the holidays just around the corner, for most people, this is one of the most joyful and merry moments of the year. It’s a time that you get to spend with people you love, and share new memories. But for some, it is one of the hardest and loneliest times of the year. It is important to be mindful of those that experience higher levels of isolation. It is also important to remember that this could be one of the most stressful times of the year as well, and that people may feel anxious and destabilized from their usual routines.
In fact, research shows that rates of depression tend to increase around the holidays, typically due to factors related to stress. The holidays also exacerbates anxiety with those with anxiety disorders, particularly social anxiety disorder. The thought of having to interact and socialize with family, friends, or coworkers can be terrifying. Of course, with the current pandemic, socializing with people outside your circle isn’t an option; however, on the flip side, it can feel even lonelier and more isolating to not get the opportunity to see your friends or family. This holiday is a tricky time to navigate, being a lose-lose situation for most.
So, how can we help? How do we help our loved ones, our clients, or even ourselves? Here are 5 ways to beat the holiday blues!
- Studies have shown that warmth can improve one’s mood. So light a candle and take a warm bath or shower, or have a nice, warm beverage.
- Take care of yourself. It is important to remember to put yourself and your feelings first, and to set clear boundaries. Acknowledge your feelings, be kind to yourself, and cut yourself some slack. Practice self-care, or treat yourself to a cozy night in with popcorn and Netflix.
- As much as you might want to, or have to, try not to completely isolate yourself. Try to set up a Zoom call with your closest family and friends, or call a loved one on the phone. Reach out to others.
- Exercise. It doesn’t have to be intense cardio, but a light stretch or some yoga– anything to get you moving– can really help.
- Get enough sleep. Studies have shown a connection between sleep loss and depression, so make sure you’re sleeping and waking up at an appropriate time.
Remember to love yourself and be well! We hope these tips help, and that you do have a happy time during the holidays!