Tracey Martin is a Sustainable Lifestyle Leader and author and has been a certified Transformational Life Coach as well as health, life and wellness advisor for more than 25 years. Tracey’s mission is simple, to protect our natural resources, planet, and our most precious resource: humankind. She is sharing her knowledge with us in this weekly column and this week Tracey shares ways to manage depression during the holidays.
Depression during the Holidays is real for so many.
The most wonderful time of the year, may not be so wonderful for everyone. This time of year can trigger sadness and depression. Memories are beautiful but if you are missing a recently passed loved one, they can only comfort you so much. Seeing so many celebrations, family gatherings and holiday parties can shine a light on what we perceive as lack in our own life. Maybe it is financial troubles, loneliness or loss that we are experiencing.
We all have high expectations during the holidays. We want to give the best gift, go to the best parties and take away the best memories. I have a few tips for you that will help you achieve this even if you feel a little melancholy this time of year.
Prepare and plan ahead – This is very important so we do not begin to feel rushed and riddled with anxiety. Put a realistic gift giving budget together and stick with it! Decide who will be receiving gifts from you and get them bought and wrapped. Get them in the mail before the madness begins! Put parties and celebrations on your calendar a head of time. Plan your outfits and make sure they are ready to go. If you plan on going to a party and are going to be drinking, ask someone for a ride or uber it so everyone stays safe. It is ok to say NO and decline an invitation, do not feel that you must attend every event.
Family drama – This can be a big one for so many. Get out ahead of it. If you have been invited to a family gathering and you know that things may not go well. Make a call to whomever you are having the issue with. It is not fair to others in attendance to have to be a part or witness arguments, rudeness or just plain childish behavior. Be the bigger person and put the olive branch out to resolve any issues BEFORE you are all in the same room. If you have tried in the past to no avail, then agree for a truce during this time.
Create new memories – Losing a loved one close to the holidays is tough on everyone. Make a special moment to honor that person. Create a new memory. Maybe it is a special dinner celebration or a toast before dinner that is meant to honor them. Present a special ornament on the tree that will mark their place in your heart. Sit down and go through old photos and have conversations of all the great times and remember them with love.
Give everyone a seat at the table – Take note of your friends. Maybe there is someone that can’t travel back to their home for the holidays. Maybe, there is someone that has no place to go. We can always make room in our hearts and at our table for another. Do this with intention. Invite them with open arms and an open heart to be a part of your families traditions. It just might impact you more.
We all have been told the true meaning of this time of year. However, with commercials on TV and the radio as well as social media telling us to buy, buy and buy more, we sometimes miss the the point. Take a moment and breathe. Schedule in 30 mins a couple times a week for yourself to regroup and prioritize the way YOU want to celebrate the holidays. Have discussions with your loved ones and begin to simplify and put the true meaning of GIVING back in your family traditions.
If you have comments or questions you would like to see addressed in this column, please send them to [email protected].
For a private one on one with Tracey text 602.568.4124.