Stay positive this holiday season

The pace of the holidays is starting to speed up.

Some people revel in the spirit of the holidays, humming Christmas songs as they go about the holiday preparations.

But those already stressed can feel a little overwhelmed at the holidays.

The constant hustle and bustle of the holidays can dim the holiday spirit this time of the year, but mental health professionals have tips to keep stress and depression to a minimum.

The holidays can be a sad time if you have lost a loved one during the past year, especially for senior citizens. Professionals agree it is OK to take time to grieve, have a good cry and feel sad. Don’t feel pressure to be happy, it will only make you feel worse. Look for a positive way to remember a loved one.

Take the holidays in stride and don’t live by someone else’s expectations.

According to statistics, 43 percent of Americans are single, and 27 percent of Americans live alone.

If you feel lonely, seek out events in your community. Being surrounded by others can help you feel better. Try volunteering. It may do the heart some good.

Friends and family need to recognize those that are going through tough times and try to offer emotional support. Talk can be the best medicine for those who are feeling down.

Also, remember what makes you sad at this time and avoid those triggers.

Family differences can bring on stress at the holidays. Try to set aside differences during the holidays. Continuing a fight at the holidays can make coping with stress and depression even harder, and can also spoil the holidays for others.

If you’re newly divorced, the holidays may remind you of happier times and result in making you feel down. It’s especially difficult for adult children of divorce who have to balance visiting two sets of parents.

Money problems can be made better by setting a budget for how much will be spent on gifts. It isn’t the cost, it is the thought.

Pace your activities during the holidays. Don’t let the stress of what you think has to be done become overwhelming. Don’t allow perfectionism to wear you down.

The same can be said for all the parties and events for which you have received an invitation. Learn to say “no.”

Staying physically healthy during the holidays also can be a challenge. Stress can lead to illness. Taking a walk or getting some indoor exercise can go a long way to alleviating stress. Make sure you get enough sleep. Avoid overeating and drinking.

Take time for yourself. That small break is a great way to refresh yourself both physically and mentally.

Even following all the suggestions of mental health specialists may not be enough. Don’t be afraid to ask for professional help.

Try to stay positive this holiday season.


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