The holidays can be an exciting and joyous time, but for many, it can be quite the opposite. Often times, people experience feelings of anxiety, depression, mood swings, fatigue, or difficult sleeping during the holidays. These feelings can be associated with extra stress, unrealistic expectations to attend every party or buy the best gift, or even unpleasant or sad memories.
Surveys show that 64% of individuals are affected by pressures during the holidays. The important thing to remember is that these factors are only temporary. There are some steps you can take to cope with the holiday blues. These 5 tips may seem simple, but they are important because stress takes a toll:
- Stick to normal routines and get enough rest, as lack of sleep tends to trigger anxiety and depression.
- Spend time with supportive, caring people and find ways to relax. It can help to take a little time during your lunch break to relax by listening to music or meditating.
- Eat and drink in moderation. Don’t drink alcohol if you are feeling down.
- Get exercise and remember to stay hydrated. Exercise is a stimulant that releases hormones that will boost your mood.
- Set reasonable expectations, a budget, and goals for activities such as shopping, cooking, entertaining, and attending parties.
Again, it is important to remember the holiday blues are short term. Be patient and take things day-by-day and week-by-week.
However, if feelings persist, please do not feel you have to handle it all on your own. There are people here to help. You can call 1-888- NYC-WELL, a 24/7 call line set up by New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, or text WELL to 65173 for help.