The sad truth about the holiday season is that it’s not happy for everyone. There are many reasons why you may not be feeling well this holiday season. Sometimes, SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, may be to blame. This is when you experience depression due to the lack of sunlight and other changes the winter season brings. Other times, it may be due to your work schedule. If you work retail, you may be feeling like every day is a battle with longer hours, customers who aren’t satisfied, and other stresses.
Whatever your reasoning, here are some ways to have a (hopefully) happy holiday.
Get Outside More
If you’re able to, go outside when it’s daylight outside. You may have to put on an extra jacket, but trust us, a good walk outside is worth the cold. If you are unable to do this, light therapy can work. With the days getting shorter, the lack of sunlight can mess with our biological clocks, throwing off our sleep schedules. Light may help.
The holidays is an excuse for many to eat more, work out less, and drink more. While it’s okay to splurge on Christmas cookies and be merry with spiked eggnog, do it in moderation. Try sticking to a diet and exercise plan. We know it’s hard with family dinners and all the Christmas candy, but try reserving a cheat day for your snacking.
Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your mental health up. It may be cold outside, but a gym membership or home exercises can help. Also, a good run will warm you right up.
Don’t Work Yourself Too Much
If you work a job that’s going to have an increase in demand during the holidays, don’t drive yourself mad trying to keep up. Sometimes, it’s okay to say no when your boss asks you to work extra hours.Obviously, you want to keep working, but you shouldn’t have to lose your sanity because of it. If you have to work extra hours or risk getting fired, try to make the most of it. Remember that it will soon be over and things will get better.
Get Some Sleep
The holidays can be exciting, but make sure you’re getting enough rest. Some people have whacky sleep schedules due to their melatonin levels going down. Consider taking melatonin supplements, or talking to a doctor if you feel like you’re not getting enough sleep.
The amount of sleep someone needs differs.Some need more than 8 hours. Others can do just find having under 6 hours. If you feel like you’re not sleeping enough, adjust.
Sometimes, your depression is more than seasonal, or it can evolve into chronic depression. When that happens, there is no shame in seeking BetterHelp therapy for your problems. A counselor can help treat your depression by figuring out the cause, using cognitive behavioral therapy or other techniques, or helping you get the medication you need.