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"'Tis the season," alright! 'Tis the season to be sorry, sick, and miserable.
If this is how you generally feel during the holidays, don't worry - you're not alone.
The Onset of Holiday Blues
Here's why it's easy to feel blue during the holidays:
First of all, with time off at Christmas, we finally get a chance to relax. But if we're wound a little too tightly on a normal basis trying to stay afloat with all the activities of work and life, relaxing from the onslaught often means getting sick.
And with such a buildup to and expectations for the holidays, it's easy for it to feel like a big letdown.
If you have no family nearby or anywhere special to go, the holiday season can be a very lonely time of year.
Throw in short dark days, and cold weather in many places, and we have a perfect storm.
Bring on the blues.
Surviving the Holiday Blues
Good news: it doesn't have to be all misery and sickness. Here are seven things you can do to get through the holidays a little cheerier:
Vitamin D for Daylight
With short days and low sunlight, the holiday season is a popular time for SAD (seasonal affectation disorder), which creates (or multiplies) the feeling of depression. Boost your Vitamin D by taking supplements, and get outside whenever possible - even if it's overcast. Open the curtains to let in as much daylight as possible. And if you think you have a more serious case of SAD, see your doctor about light therapy or additional nutritional supplements you can take.
Though you may not be clinically depressed, doing activities that counteract depression helps. Exercise and sleep regularly, do rewarding things, and surround yourself with people (for example, volunteer, or attend a holiday service or Christmas concert). By keeping healthy and busy, you'll less likely feel the holiday's depressive effects.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Although the ads, movies, and never-ending retail blitz may make you feel like you're the only person in the world who doesn't think Christmas is the best thing ever, don't fall for it. Cut yourself some slack. Sometimes holiday blues come from feeling like you're just not "getting" something everybody else does, making you feel left out.
By allowing yourself to feel crappy - and not putting on a brave face for your friends, instead admitting to them this is a tough time of year for you - you may find unexpected support.
Start Something New
Christmas can be extra tough if you're missing a loved one. Start your own tradition to provide a new focus and to fill the void. Get creative about how you can change your life.
Do Something for Others
By volunteering to help other people in need, you might find new meaning in the holidays, and new opportunities for enjoyment.
Set realistic goals - from Christmas lists to holiday expectations - and you'll less likely be disappointed.
All those holiday sweets are probably outside of your regular diet, and one too many cups of mulled wine won't help. Be sure not to eat and drink too much; it does more harm than good.
Happy Holidays! Keep those blues at bay.
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Nora Dunn is The Professional Hobo: a full-time traveler and freelance writer. She is a contributing writer under the CareOne Debt Relief Services Life Balance blog. Having sold her business and belongings to travel, she has been on the road since 2007. She travels in a financially sustainable manner, taking advantage of creative volunteering positions. As a former certified Financial Planner, she is financially responsible for her actions along the way. She believes there is a fine balance between planning for tomorrow, and living for today. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services. You can follow Nora on Twitter @hobonora
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