The holidays are best known for being a time of joy, gratitude, family, friends, and celebrations.
From cheery Christmas movies to upbeat caroling tunes, it seems that the month of December should be nothing but smiles and happy nostalgia.
But what happens when the years pass and all of a sudden we find ourselves battling with some difficult memories or nostalgia over "the good old days"?
Comparing our current holiday season with that of the past or with others around us can leave us feeling like we are somehow lacking something in our lives or not where we'd like to be.
Not being able to make it home, family disputes, and financial troubles can also become common triggers for depression around the holidays. These dreary bouts of anxiety or depression are often known as the "holiday blues" and believe it or not, are more common than you think.
If you don't find yourself feeling overly festive around this time of year, it's important to remember that you're not alone and that it's all part of the human experience.
Instead of putting pressure on yourself to act or feel any way that isn't truly genuine, try some of the below tips instead to battle those holiday blues. You'll be feeling better in no time!
1. DON'T BE AFRAID TO REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT WHEN YOU NEED IT
For those of us who have lost loved ones, the holidays can trigger strong feelings of mourning that are totally natural. Try not to isolate yourself and allow those around you, like family and friends, to help support you through the difficult moments.
2. KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES AND DON'T OVERSCHEDULE
If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed or under the weather this season, practice saying 'no' and scheduling even more time for self-care and doing things that bring you joy. Taking on too many things will only spark feelings of stress that ultimately leave you exhausted and unable to properly cope with emotions.
3. TRY SQUEEZING IN SOME EXERCISE
Feeling down? Exercise can help boost endorphins (the "feel good" hormone) and give your mood the positive boost it needs to get you in the holiday spirit! Even brisk walking or taking the stairs can make a difference in your mood and help you feel more energetic.
4. TRY TO AVOID OVEREATING AT HOLIDAY MEALS
Eating until you can barely breathe is considered by many to be a hallmark holiday tradition. However, eating too many rich, heavy, and unhealthy foods can have a negative effect on your mood and can leave you feeling more sluggish, unhealthy, and fatigued. Try snacking on veggies to avoid overeating later.
If you do overindulge, try adding in some nutritional supplements such as powdered greens or collagen peptides to help your body recover more quickly.
5. GET AS MUCH SLEEP AS POSSIBLE
The holidays can be exhausting for anyone, from long family gatherings to fighting crowds while Christmas shopping. Make it a point to allow yourself plenty of time to get uninterrupted sleep (at least 7-8 hours per night).
You may find yourself needing more sleep than usual around this time and let's face it, nobody is in a very positive mood when sleep deprived!
6. DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
Around the holidays, we are more likely to fall victim to the happiness-destroying habit of comparison. By becoming more conscious of your thoughts and stopping yourself each time you catch yourself comparing yourself to others, you can break the habit.
The grass always looks greener on the other side. Instead of focusing on what you don't have this holiday season, try counting your blessings and focusing on the many positives in your life.
7. TRY VOLUNTEERING AND GIVE BACK
Sometimes, getting a fresh perspective is all we need to feel grateful for what we have during the holiday season. Try taking the focus off of yourself and instead, volunteer at a holiday soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or food drive. Giving back in any way is bound to give your mood an extra boost and leave you feeling more appreciative of life in general.
HOW DO YOU OVERCOME TOUGH TIMES DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON? JOIN OUR Primal Harvest Tribe COMMUNITY ON FACEBOOK AND LET US KNOW.
IT'S ABOUT YOU. IT'S ABOUT YOUR HEALTH. IT'S ABOUT RECONNECTING.