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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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..
- 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?