For many people, the holidays are not the best of times. It’s a busy period that heaps unwanted pressures and stressors onto some who may have trouble dealing with what’s already on their plate.

When unwanted guests stop by or work makes excessive demands, depression and stress are soon to follow. Visitors often mean extra work that was not planned, such as cleaning, baking, and entertaining.

Plus, there are work parties, friend’s parties, and other events requiring your attendance and leaving little time for family activities.

It’s all supposed to be fun and engaging, but it can often fail to live up to expectations when you are run off your feet trying to keep up appearances and keep everyone happy.

This year, you can learn to do things differently and bring some fun and laughter back to the “silly season.” The rest of this article will show you some strategies for coping and even enjoying yourself during these holidays.

Holiday Tips to Help You Relax and Avoid Stress and Depression

It’s challenging to relax and take a break when your stress levels are maxed out but doing so will help you restore some calm and stave off depression. Here are a few tips to help you prevent depression and stress during this holiday.

1. Acknowledge your emotions. If a friend or family member has recently passed, remind yourself that it’s okay to grieve. Don’t try to force yourself to be happy just because you think that’s what everybody expects.

2. Get support if you need it. Loneliness and feeling isolated can be gateways to depression. If you are feeling lonely, try reaching out. Support groups are an excellent resource for forging human connections. Don’t rule out connecting online if physical attendance is not possible.

Friends and family can also be strong pillars of support, and they can help you better when you communicate your issues.

Helping others in need through a volunteer position will lift your spirits when you realize how much you are appreciated, and they are also great places to forge new friendships.

3. Don’t be a perfectionist. Some people run themselves ragged and straight into depression because they want the holidays to be perfect. Others may be resistant to change.

You can avoid stress and depression by telling yourself that nothing is perfect, and families and people grow and move on. Embrace the new normal and find joy in your growing circle of family and friends. Try to connect in any way you can when a physical connection is not possible, such as by phone, video chat, or email.

4. Make a Plan. Create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Think about what you need to accomplish and when. Prepare a shopping list. Line up a list of people who will be available to help you. If you can shop online, it’s a great time saver.

5. Put aside your differences. Accept family members as they are. Don’t expect them to be perfect or to live up to your standards. Be tolerant if others get upset or are distressed because of the holidays. Remember, you may not be the only one feeling stressed or depressed because of the holidays. Talk it out, and maybe you can find a way to support each other.

6. Don’t agree to everything. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to occasionally say no. An understanding boss or family member will understand your heavy list of commitments at this time of year and will accept your decision. Saying yes to too many things can hurt your relationships because you will begin to feel resentful and unappreciated.

Counseling-Arizona-Dawson-Prevent-Holiday-Stress-Depression-Treatment-27. Make healthy choices. You should avoid overindulging at the holidays; instead, you should eat a balanced diet, get some exercise, drink moderately, and sleep enough. A healthy mind and body are much more capable of handling the daily stresses of life.

8. Relax and take a time out. Get away from the constant pressures of work, school, and life. Take a break by yourself. To calm yourself, find something that reduces stress, slows your breathing, and restores inner calm, such as meditation or yoga.

9. Set a Budget. Before doing your holiday shopping, determine how much money you can spend. Don’t go overboard buying presents. A family gift exchange or making presents yourself is a great way to put some meaning back into gift-giving and save money.

10. Don’t forget professional help. Sometimes no amount of trying can stop depression, sadness, or stress from setting in and sucking all the joy out of the holidays. If these feelings persist, book a consultation with a counselor or therapist as soon as possible. For more information, click here: Depression Treatment