The holiday season can be extremely stressful for a wide variety of reasons. For those who have experienced a hardship or have had a tough year, the holidays can exacerbate those feelings of loss and loneliness. Depression is a reality for many people, and getting through the holidays can be one of the most difficult things to do.
If you are finding it difficult to remain positive during the holiday season, here a few ways to ease your anxiety and depression in hopes of feeling more encouraged:
Speak with a Professional
For those who are struggling with the looming holiday season, speaking with a professional about your feelings can help you deal with your depression. A therapist can offer you the support and encouragement you need during this difficult time. Moreover, a professional can help you assess what courses of action you should take, whether that be looking into a treatment, such as ketamine, or further sessions in therapy.
Focus on the Positive
For those who have undergone a significant loss, whether it be a death in the family, the loss of a job, the loss of a home, or something similar, it can be hard to find the positive in the situation, especially when it seems as if everyone else is feeling happier than you. However, if you can focus on the areas in your life where something is going right—no matter how large or small—you can slowly begin to feel more positive. Focusing on what you have instead of what you do not can help ease your anxiety.
For those who are feeling lonely, socializing can be especially difficult. When depressed or anxious, it can be hard to get out and interact with others. Staying inside and out of the fray might be easier in theory, but keeping yourself from others will only aid in your feelings of loneliness. Spending time with friends and family members can help improve your mood and remind you of the good things in your life.
Moreover, getting out and interacting with others can help you remember that you are not alone in this season. Painful situations can cause people to grow withdrawn and unintentionally sever ties with friends. This often happens when people are too sad to be around situations that remind them of what they lost or are afraid of dumping their problems on others. However, true friends want to help and want to be there for you and your family. Let them in, as they can be your biggest support system.
Whatever difficult situation you have gone through, there is most likely someone else who has gone through something similar. Finding a support group can help you recognize that you are not alone in your situation. Whether it is a grief counseling group or a more specific group, being around others who have experienced the same issues can help you understand how normal your feelings are. Seeing how others have responded to similar situations can help to encourage you.
Even in the most difficult of situations, a great way to stay positive is to remind yourself that someone out there has it worse than you. Spending time with the less fortunate can give you some perspective on your own situation, showing you that even in the most difficult of moments, there is something to be grateful for.
Volunteering during the holidays at a local homeless shelter, an orphanage, or a community center can be a great way to not only fill up your time, but also give you an opportunity to help others who may have it worse than you do.
The Big Picture
Finally, even in the darkest of situations, try to take a look at the larger picture. While what you are feeling might be totally justified, these feelings and your current situation are not forever. In a month, a year, or a few years, things will be different. While this season of your life has been difficult, there still is a future. Reminding yourself of that can help you gain perspective on your feelings.
Though the holiday season can be especially difficult, attempting to stay positive can help you feel as encouraged as possible.
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