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Although some health organizations maintain there is no link to depression and increased suicide rates at holiday time, many people do experience sadness and amplified loneliness at this time of year. It’s important to realize there are some simple things you can do to help yourself feel better whether it’s holiday time or any other time of the year that your mood is feeling challenged. Here are my top 10 favorites:
- Spend time with your pet. It’s been well documented that people who have pets enjoy health benefits such as lowered blood pressure, improved mood and feelings of companionship rather than loneliness. And that’s not even mentioning the good you are doing by giving an innocent animal a safe, loving home!
- Spend time with some positive people and avoid the complaining drama queens in your world. We all have people in our lives who are downers. They complain constantly and make a huge problem out of something that can be solved quietly and simply. Taking a break from these people is a good step toward feeling better yourself. If you can’t talk sense into someone to look at the positive things in their life, fill your friend calendar with people who are more positive and who won’t be so much work.
- Eat a healthier diet. This is one of my favorites, and this approach is what helped me rid myself of my own chronic depression. It’s not always the easiest thing to do at holiday time I know, and it can be a challenge for me as well. Some tips to stay on track are to eat something healthy before you go to a gathering or party, and to have a just small taste of a couple of dishes that may not be in the best interest of your healthy body and upbeat mood if you must.
- Exercise. Go for a walk. If you’re feeling down and depressed, it’s often hard to get off the couch. Making the effort and just doing one thing can set you on the path to feeling better. Put on your coat, and just walk around the block. If it’s cold outside, that bracing air will wake you up and will make you walk faster. That’s a great way to get moving and feel better. Remember that exercise helps our bodies produce endorphins, the chemicals that trigger positive feelings.
- Dance like there’s no one watching. Ok, so it’s raining and you just can’t go for a walk. Put on some music and dance around your living room. That will make you feel better. It’s one of my personal favorite ways to get myself going.
- Turn off the T.V. Turning off the news and those tragic dramas is a good idea if you’re feeling down. Instead, pick up a good book or read something on your Kindle that will inspire and motivate you. Brian Tracy and Wayne Dyer are always good choices.
- Take a break from social media. You can go down the rabbit hole with Facebook and Twitter and waste an inordinate amount of your day. Ask me how I know… If you must be on social media, I find setting a timer for 15 minutes helps keep it under control.
- Do something nice for someone, and don’t let them know you did it. I like this one a lot. Buy someone flowers and just have them in their office when they arrive. They will be delighted, and you’ll enjoy watching them try to figure out where they came from.
- Watch a funny video or YouTube. My personal favorites for this one are the Dean Martin Roasts (dating myself, I know…). You can’t watch these and not crack up. Laughter is good for you!
- Keep a gratitude journal. We don’t practice gratitude often or completely enough. Being grateful for what and who we have in our lives is so important. Set aside a few minutes at the same time each day and write down some gratitude thoughts.
I hope these help you find ways to improve your mood both at holiday time and throughout the year.
This article was originally published on my site at http://thinstronghealthy.com/tips-for-avoiding-holiday-depression/
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!
Cheryl A Major
Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com Cheryl offers ongoing information, live and online courses and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor. She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.
Her new book, “Eat Your Blues Away” in which she chronicles her recovery from depression is now available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback!