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Thursday, December 6, 2007

12 Tips for a Happier Holiday Season

Even if your not depressed the holiday season can be stressful. Usually you have to sit up with your relatives whom you might not see more often than this holiday. Old patterns of interacting reappear, old sores bop up.

Unrealistic expectations of family gatherings and holiday parties often lead to disappointment and depression around the holidays. Financial stress, overbooked schedules and memories of “perfect” holidays past or lost loved ones can also all contribute to feelings of tension, anxiety and sadness.

From Cedars-Sinai Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, these useful tips

  • Have realistic expectations of interactions you’ll be having with family and friends. Chances are that people will have not changed much from last year.

  • Make a list and prioritize the activities that are important to you. Make time for those; and consider carefully whether you absolutely must do everything on that list.

  • Don’t lose sight of the meaningful moments of the season. Look for them, and be optimistic that you’ll find them.

  • Limit your drinking. Drinking too much can lead to bad behavior, hangovers, and remorse, all of which can lead to depression.

  • Let others share responsibilities of the season. No one person should feel burdened by all of the shopping, party planning, cooking and holiday activities.

  • Make an active effort not to worry so much about the details. Live in the moment as much as possible.

  • Be sure to get regular exercise. Walking for 30 minutes three times a week can make a difference in how you feel.

  • Keep track of your holiday spending. Gifts that you can’t afford won’t make you happy – and the cost of the gift probably won’t matter to the receiver. Consider the more important aspect of giving -- making the recipient feel good in knowing that you cared.

  • Try to eat well and get enough rest. Hard to do, but the benefits of both are obvious.

  • Spend time with supportive and caring people; reach out to others who may benefit from your support.

  • Make time for yourself. Everyone needs downtime.

  • Remember that there is no ideal or model for a perfect holiday. With second marriages and so many different types of families, feel free to create your own unique way to celebrate.

I am aware of all the posts with tips for the holiday season, but these tips are the best or do you know better tips?
Thanks to Mrs Confabula MD PhD

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