Organic Runner Mom

Tips for coping with anxiety and depression during the holidays.

Tips for coping with anxiety and depression during the holidays.

Tips for Coping with Anxiety and Depression during the Holidays

Tips for Coping with Anxiety and Depression during the Holidays

This holiday season I have been coping with ongoing anxiety and depression that has been heightened due to recent life changes. The holidays can be a joyful time but they can also be hard too. I have backed away from blogging for a bit because I found my voice to be stifled due to life developments. Rather than to continue down this path however I want to get back to sharing with you and hope you will read and follow along. So you see, this summer I got a divorce. I’ve been quiet about this for awhile but now am ready to talk about it. This of course was not something that was ever in my life plan but is something that has happened. It is ok because life is full of twists and turns and we never know where life will lead us. We are adjusting and I am learning to cope with these changes and our new normal. As you know even before this happened I have had ongoing depression and anxiety. This is just the hand of cards that I have been given in life. There have been many bumps along the way on this path but I continue to press forward because there is so much in my life that is important to me. Some days are harder than others but thankfully I have so many people supporting me and my beautiful children who I love to pieces. I continue to go to regular therapy sessions because it is so important to have someone who you can talk to and tell everything no matter what through the tears, the anger, the frustration . . . all the emotions. This is my first round of holidays which everyone has told me will be hard. Thanksgiving was nice but I definitely struggled a bit without having my own family close by to celebrate with. Thankfully I had good friends to cheer me up and my kids to have fun with. And of course I made sure to get out and exercise because that always makes me feel better!

Tips for coping with anxiety and depression

Here are some tips that help me to cope with anxiety and depression that will definitely come in handy during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. and as always . . . thanks for listening and being here for me!

  1. Go for a walk. Fresh air and time moving can be so good for you. When I take a walk I try to focus on my surroundings (which are currently a Winter Wonderland). This is a great time to also focus on your breathing. Taking your dog on a walk with you is also a positive thing to do because they can be a fun distraction.
  2. Give yourself a break. I always put a lot of pressure on myself to be very organized and to have everything in order but sometimes it is better to just welcome a little chaos into your life.  I often like for everything to be “perfect” but am learning to let go. Leave the mess and take time to put your feet up. Watch something frivolous on tv (Currently I am into The Great British Baking Show and a very cheesy series called Good Witch on the Hallmark Channel). I have been trying to not be so hard on myself.
  3. Take time to play. Having kids in the house makes this an easy one. If there is snow on the ground join your kids in making a snow fort or having a snowball fight. Get out some games to play. Our current favorites are Ticket to Ride and the classic Battleship. We also like to have an art challenge where I challenge the kids to make different art creations using different art materials. Then I am the judge. If there are no kids in the house try your hand at something new (I am trying a pottery class) or do a puzzle.
  4. Do something for you. Go get your hair done or schedule a massage. If there is no time for that, give yourself a manicure or pedicure in some festive holiday colors. 
  5. Cook something. Cooking can be very therapeutic and there are so many great places to find recipes nowadays–Cookbooks, blogs, Pinterest. Here are some links to a few of my current favorite recipes: Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon, Paleo Sweet Potato Turkey Chili, Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies.
  6. Get together with friends. I don’t live close to my family so getting together with friends is especially important during the holidays. Friends can help to lift you up and to make you laugh. It can be fun to get together with friends to make a meal together or just to have a glass of wine.
  7. Catch some Zzz’s. During the holidays life can go into overdrive but it is important to keep good sleep routines in place. Try to get to bed on the earlier side to get a good nights sleep. Being rested can help calm feelings of anxiety and depression.
  8. Talk to someone. It’s ok to tell people when you are feeling overwhelmed and depressed or anxious. There are many people that you can talk to–friends, family, a therapist. Sharing your feelings may not make them go away but it can help to know someone cares and it can be a relief to let your feelings out rather than to bottle them up..
  9. Do something you are anxious about. This may seem counterintuitive but making yourself do something you are anxious about like trying something new or going somewhere new can actually be empowering. When you overcome your anxiety you can experience feelings of happiness and satisfaction with yourself that you challenged your anxiety.

What are your best tips for coping with anxiety and depression?

Organic Runner Mom


14 responses

14 responses

  1. I love that you are feeling strong enough to open up about what has been happening! You must feel better already!! I also love this post (and I talk about this as well on my blog today) that the holidays can be really hard and it’s OKAY to not feel joy and thankfulness every waking moment.
    I’m also reading this great book titled “Rewire Your Anxious Brian” and it talks about doing what you mentioned as far as facing your fears. It helps rewire that pesky amygdala!! You know I love you woman and I hope to see you in VT very soon. Until then xoxoxo

  2. Oh, wow, you have been dealing with a lot. I’m glad that you are figuring out your way. I find that talking about things is a huge help. Sometimes the act of articulating your worries helps put them in perspective, but it can be hard to do.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your divorce–I had a feeling that was happening–but in light of your anxiety and depression, that was the last thing you needed. As Allie said, opening up about it means that maybe you’re feeling stronger? I hope so. Having dealt with anxiety and depression most of my life, being about to have my space to work through my feelings is really important. I need my runs and also just unproductive time that allows me to breathe. We’re fortunate to be part of a very supportive community and I hope you know that if you need anything–to talk, to vent, to cry–that many of us are there for you.

  4. I am sorry to hear that you have been dealing with so much the last few months.I hope that opening up and writing about it is a help to you. You have a whole community of support here for you!

  5. Oh Sandra. I’m so sorry for all you have been going through. It’s so, so good to talk about it though! I know you are likely going through all sorts of emotions and the holidays are tough! We see all these happy couple/ family advertisements everywhere and it’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year” blah blah blah… your tips are DEFINITELY good ones. I say for sure be KIND to yourself and keep talking and staying in touch with friends/ family that are close. It’s tough, but you WILL get through this.

  6. Sending you giant hugs. This will be the first Christmas without my Dad, so I too am preparing for a lot of bumps in the road.

    Adequate exercise and sleep have always been the #1 weapons in my fight against anxiety. Lately I’ve begun taking CBD oil as well, and it’s worked absolute wonders for me.

    I’ll be thinking of you my friend! If you need a listening ear, never hesitate to reach out

  7. You’ve been dealing with a lot and I’m sorry to hear about your divorce. As someone who has been through this, never hesitate to reach out to me if you want to chat/vent/etc!

    Sending you tons of hugs and positive vibes this holiday season.

  8. The thing that helps me the most with depression and anxiety is exercise and meditation. I’m not huge into meditation but when I start feeling a panic attack coming I try to meditate to help relax my mind and body a little bit. Also, just getting out and doing something FUN is a huge help with both. Even if it means not getting everything on your to-do list done.

  9. Sorry to hear about all the “stuff” that’s been happening. One of our daughters had a lot of anxiety issues awhile back, and went to a counselor for several months.Even though she’s uncertain if the counseling helped much, I can tell it did. Being able to talk openly (even to a stranger) is such a release. Hugs to you; I’ll be thinking of you.

  10. So sorry that you are dealing with so much.

    All of the tips are great.

    I don’t know I would do without running.

  11. I’m very sorry to hear your news. I am glad you have a wonderful support system and you sound very positive. Lost of hugs to you.

    Anxiety is a jerk. So is depression. They are liars and thieves of joy. All of your suggestions are great, and they are definitely ways I have coped with those things.

  12. Sandra- I am so sorry to hear about you have been going through. I know this is a very difficult time and I am sending positive vibes your way. I struggle with anxiety issues as well and often running is the cure, but sometimes event that does not ease it. I appreciate your tips here and know that I am thinking of you! xo

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