It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Wrong! Well, when you’re a kid, there’s nothing like the holiday season. You’re in a trance of the holiday’s luster. As an adult, all that glitters about the holidays is clouded in naive childhood memories, There’s too many bills, too little time, too long to-do lists and too few reasons to spread holiday cheer. Without even being fully aware, we could dive head-first and chest-deep into a holiday-induced depression.
Here are 5 triggers to holiday depression and suggestions to cope with them. Happy Holidays. And I mean that literally.
1. Less Money, Mo’ Problems: Penny pinching, bending, stretching and flat out breaking is common during the holidays. Not being able to make ends meet while buying tickets home, gifts, whatever can stress anyone out.
Solution: Try shopping little by little throughout the year as opposed to all at once. Keep your eye on various travel and deal sites like Expedia, Living Social, Life Booker, Priceline and more for extra savings on your ticket home.
2. All In the Family: If you feel obligated when getting together with your family and it’s more stressful than stress relieving, it may cause you a deep sadness as the holidays approach.
Solution: Opt out of going home for the holidays and make a plan with other friends to vacation. Nothing says stress relief like a day on the beach. Or if you have to go, focus on something that you can enjoy about the holidays with your family–mom’s sweet potato pie, watching the game, seeing old friends.
3. Burnt Out: The holidays hit us at the end of a long year. Most of us have worked our hands to the bone all year long and tired doesn’t even begin to cover it. There’s not enough hours in each day and sometimes in the attempt to do it all, we exhaust ourselves. Fatigue can change someone’s mood, often for the worse.
Solution: You don’t have to go to every holiday party or shop every weekend. Lock yourself in the house for a day. Devote some nights to getting to bed earlier and stick to your plan. Once you feel the refreshing effect of getting a few extra hours in, you’ll be hooked.
4. Healthy Hiatus: Keeping up with your healthy diet is the most difficult part of the holiday season. With so many cakes, hams, cheeses, candy and more that find their way in our bellies, it’s almost impossible to keep off the extra pounds. If you find your clothes fitting a little tighter, you may beat yourself up.
Solution: Focus on having one cheat moment each week during the holiday season and on the actual evenings of Thanksgiving and Christmas, allow yourself a meal, but keep your portions small. Don’t allow yourself to pig out especially if you find your gym visits being few and far between.
5. Daylight Savings: I love waking up earlier to sunlight, but the fact that dusk comes a little quicker and gives us seemingly shorter days may turn moods sour. Sunlight just breeds happiness so darkness does the exact opposite. Ask the folks in Alaska.
Solution: Focus less on the light in the sky and more on accomplishing goals before the new year and keeping up with said goals after the new year. Attempt to wake earlier so that you can enjoy more of the sunshine of the day.