Question: How to Cope With Holiday Depression
The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are always a time of depression for me. What can I do to cope this year?
Answer: One of the biggest causes of stress during the holidays is high expectations for how the holidays ought to be. Some tips to help you keep your expectations reasonable include:
- Don't judge the value of a gift by its price tag. The best gifts come from the sincere desire to make a person happy.
- You don't have to do everything that's asked of you. Learn to assert yourself and say no. Also, learn how to delegate responsibility and manage your time better.
- Share with someone less fortunate to reconnect yourself with the true meaning of Christmas.
- Accept that your family is a real family, not a TV family, so things will probably always be less than perfect. This doesn't have to ruin your holiday.
- Remember that things will occasionally go wrong. If you can learn to face these little setbacks with style and grace you'll find yourself having a better holiday because you're more relaxed.
- If you can't be with someone you love, find a creative way to make the holiday special. For example, send cookies, gifts or a special videotaped greeting to a far away relative. Or arrange to spend another day together as "Christmas." You don't have to be limited to what other people expect that Christmas should be.