Simple Tips to Avoid the December Blues

Feelings of depression and stress are common for many people during the holiday season. With the overabundance of shopping, spending too much on gifts, travel arrangements, reluctantly agreeing to attend a holiday party, cleaning the house, cooking, decorating, being apart from loved ones and topped with the added pressure of putting on a smile—it’s not surprise of us come down with a serious case of the “Santa Clause holiday flu.”

However, there are several ways to avoid feelings of sadness and stress during the holidays, and hopefully, remind you of all the things that do make December such a wonderful time of year.

  • Don’t overthink it. Not everything will go right during the holidays, and realizing this will help to take the edge off. Most importantly, don’t expect to be perfect; whether it being buying the right gift, cooking the finest holiday meal, hosting the best Christmas party—remember that perfection is simply an illusion, and trying to be so will only promote negative thoughts.
  • Spend your money carefully. Create a budget and strictly stick to how much you intend to spend. Shopping during the holidays can easily get expensive, so spend what you can and don’t berate yourself over being cheap; instead, think of yourself as being frugal, wise and creative in what you choose to buy.
  • Avoid Vitamin D deficiency. December weather is cold, cloudy and a gloomy time of year. Lack of sun exposure is a common reason why feelings of sadness surface. Using a full spectrum lamp for twenty minutes can alleviate Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder, or more ironically appropriate, SAD. Make sure to consult with your doctor first before exposing your skin if you do choose to use a full spectrum lamp.
  • Laugh with holiday flick. There is no reason why you can’t indulge yourself with a couple hours of good-spirited home entertainment. Flip on the television, get cozy underneath your favorite blanket, make yourself a hot cup of tea and alleviate your mind with a laugh-out-loud Christmas flick. If finding something you would enjoy to watch isn’t likely, it’s probably time to upgrade your home entertainment; DIRECTV offers several packages that are specifically designed to satisfy the fussiest of television viewers.
  • Get your body moving. As important as it is to relax and unwind on the couch with great home entertainment, it’s equally important that you do the exact opposite and exercise. Get your heart rate up with a hearty, 20-minute workout each day to alleviate your mind and body. When you participate in physical activity, your body naturally releases feel-good chemicals that are stored in your brain. After enduring a healthy sweat, your day is destined to improve, as you will feel more energized, calm and ready to tackle on the day.
  • Accept and Forgive. Many times during the holidays, we encounter family members or friends that you may have had previous issues with. If so, do your best to accept this issue or flaw and leave in the past. ‘Breaking the ice’ with positivity and acceptance will not only make them feel better, but also give you peace of mind.

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