This article was published on December 14th, 2016
The holiday season is full of festivity and joy. However, it can also be an incredibly difficult time of year too. The focus on family and relationships during the holidays is wonderful if you have loved ones to surround you. If you aren’t so lucky, it can amplify feelings that leave you feeling lonely and depressed. It’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are people who care about you. Whether you are dealing with family issues, breakups, grief or your first holidays without a loved one, here are some helpful tips to get past holiday depression.
- Break with traditions
If you have negative associations with the holiday season, make a change and do something different. Don’t follow old traditions or do the same thing again this year. If sitting around the fireplace and drinking cocoa with family stirs up holiday depression, try something fresh and different like having a cocktail evening featuring the 12 Stoli Cocktails of Christmas. Rearrange the dining room, put the Christmas tree in a new location, invite friends over for holiday karaoke, or host an ugly sweater party.
There is no rule that says traditions can’t be broken, avoid the painful ones and create your own to suit yourself!
- Celebrate with your chosen family
Unfortunately, it is common that ties are severed with families. These are modern times and attitudes are changing with them. Spend the holidays with your chosen family; those who love and accept you unconditionally for you who are, not who they want you to be. That is the definition of the new family.
- Commemorate those lost
The holidays can be especially difficult to celebrate the first year without a loved one. Instead of avoiding the situation allow yourself to heal and to provide closure by focusing on the impact the person had on you life and how lucky you were to have as part of your life. Incorporate a commemoration over the holidays. Encourage guests to raise a glass and say why that person was important to him or her, or to share a memory. Change it to a celebration and appreciation his or her life.
- Surround yourself with good people
Being alone can be incredibly difficult at this time of year. If you don’t have close family or friends consider volunteering to feed the homeless or read to elderly people who are also alone at this time of year. Spend your time surrounded by good people doing good things. It is a great way to sooth your soul and to give back to your community.
- Talk to someone
Don’t keep your feelings bottled up inside. Find a trusted friend or family member that you can talk to about your feelings. If that’s not something you are comfortable with doing there are other helplines that you can call to talk to someone, anonymously and discreetly.
People do care and want to help. You can also talk to your doctor who may be able to make other recommendations to help you get through the holiday season. You’re not on your own, not matter how much it may feel like it.
Have you struggled with holiday depression? Leave your ideas in the comment section below on how to get through the season.