The holiday blues are real and can disrupt your life in a serious manner. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can contribute to the holiday blues, from grief and economic hardship to COVID-19 stress. Believe it or not, seasonal depression is more common than you may think, with approximately 14 percent of Americans experience some form of it. So, how do you better your situation if you’re currently dealing with depression or stress during the supposedly “most wonderful time of the year?” Turn to one of these 5 mechanisms to shift your lifestyle and lift your mood in the winter season.
1. Limit alcohol. – Cut back on your alcohol intake and try not to keep it readily available around your house. If it’s a particularly special occasion, limit yourself to one or two drinks. Drinking to excess can affect your mood and amplify any negative feelings that you may have.
2. Get plenty of sleep. – Try to go to bed at a specific time each night, even if you’re off of work or school for a couple of days. Just because you’re free of responsibilities doesn’t mean you should be void of a schedule. Being well-rested can improve your mood and help you feel ready to take on the day.
3. Be open to new traditions. – 2020 has been a wild ride, to say the least. You may have an image of what the holidays should consist of, and this may not be what’s actually happening during the pandemic. Instead of holding on to what the holiday should have been, allow new, safe traditions to unfold.
4. Exercise regularly. – Plugin your headphones and pop out for a walk around the block a couple of times a day. A quick 10-minute walk will get your heart rate up and release mood-boosting endorphins. There are also plenty of apps and virtual classes available to help you get your fitness routine on point!
5. Avoid overeating. – Before the big feast – even if it’s just you and your quarantine bubble— stick to your normal meals for the day. This way, you won’t feel tempted to binge once everything is ready. Overeating, like a lack of sleep or physical movement, can affect your mood and overall well-being.
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