BFS_Depression_LG_2It’s the most wonderful time of the year….well, not for everyone.

Holidays can be difficult if you struggle with your mood and family issues. However, there are proactive ways to keep your spirit bright.

1) Don’t overspend. Avoid being caught up in all the deals, discounts and e-shopping. Financial problems can be a real downer when those bills start rolling in. So curb the spending. Have a budget and stick to it.

2) Moderate your eating and drinking. Too much alcohol can bring on depression. Too much sugar and fat make you tired!

3) Examine your expectations. If you  have family problems, they don’t disappear during the holidays. Sometimes they worsen. So have a plan as to how you will deal with your family. What is realistic?

4) Set boundaries and limits so you are not overwhelmed with stress. Taking on too much and running around with no down time can lead to a mood crash.

5) Don’t isolate. Force yourself to go out, to attend holiday parties, church activities and community events. Being with people prevents loneliness.

6) If you know you are going to have a tough time, get support. For example, if you have been sober for months, attend AA during holidays. Don’t neglect your meetings.

7) Reach out to someone else. The best way to combat a down mood is to do something for someone else. Serve at a soup kitchen, volunteer to usher at church, participate in caroling at a nursing home, etc.

8) Refuse to be the grinch. Change your negative talk to positive talk. Force yourself to see the upside of life, not the downside. Grab hold of those negative thoughts and turn them around by being thankful.

9) Focus on the true meaning of the season. It’s hard to be down when you read the Christmas story and meditate on what Christ did for you. Get away from the commercialism and spend time with God.

10) Enjoy the moment. Sometime we get so caught up in what needs to be done, we lose the moment.  Let go of perfectionism and savor moments by your tree, with a loved one or walking in a beautiful park.

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