March 2015
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Keeping Depression, Anxiety At Bay on Holidays

The holidays should be a joyous time filled with fun and laughter.  Too often, the holiday season becomes stressful and an overly emotional time filled with the blues.  To avoid becoming overly stressed during this season, there are a few tips.  Instead of just resulting to medicines or even herbal remedies for depression and anxiety (although you know that’s my personal resort if I’ve tried other things). 

Be realistic about how much you can do and how much you can spend.  Avoid overextending yourself on credit for Christmas.  If you’ve been faced with a layoff or job loss or have a present money crunch, suggest hand crafting items for presents.  This can be simple baking or compiling a cookbook or arts and crafts depending on what your individual talents may be.
Get enough rest.  Don’t stay up too late at night for shopping, wrapping or decorating.  Fatigue will only wear down your resistance and you’re likely to wind up with a cold or flu for the holiday.  Striving for too much perfection in the holiday celebrations will only stress you out and take the joy out of the festive time.
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption as this will leave you fatigued and tired the next day.  Eat a healthy, well balanced diet.  Lots of sweets and rich foods abound at holiday time and it’s okay to have a few, but avoid overindulging or replacing your nutritious food with desserts and unhealthy snacks.
If you work out daily, try to keep it up as much as possible.  Exercise is a wonderful stress reducer and actually energizes you as well as works as an excellent natural remedy for depression and anxiety on its own.  I should know, I always get a huge mood boost after a good workout!

If you have recently lost a loved one or are recently divorced, the holidays can compound the sense of loss.   To ward off feelings of loneliness or isolation, make a point of helping others who may be alone or disadvantaged. 
Volunteering opportunities are plentiful at Christmas time.  You can volunteer for helping at community dinners or sign up to donate time or food items.  This will take your mind off of your recent losses and help you to beat holiday depression.  Try these tips and see if they help you have a truly joyous holiday and a very merry Christmas.

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