Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy Holidays…Or Not

The holidays can bring out the best in people. More people are willing to give back to the needy, help their fellow man and become closer with their families.

For you it doesn’t feel the same. You see everyone smiling and happy. They are baking cookies and singing Christmas carols. While they are enjoying the holiday season you are struggling to just get out of bed and join the world in their holiday obsession.  You feel out of step and not in tune with others around you and that can be a lonely feeling.

I am here to tell you that you are not out of step with the world. You are 1 of millions of people all over the world that are suffering from Depression, Anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and Bipolar disorder.  There are things that you can do that can make your holidays happier.
These tips will take an effort to pull off and may be easier said than done but can help when you are feeling lonely, guilty and depressed.

      Do not try to please others.

·         When you are feeling sad and low do not try and force yourself to be happy just because you want to please those around you or to make them feel more comfortable. Be honest with those around you and let them know you are having a hard time.

2.      Stay away from large crowds…if you need to.

·         If get invited to a party and you know deep down you will not have a good time or it has the capacity to make you feel worse, don’t go. Plan something at your place or somewhere you feel comfortable. You will feel less alone and may have a good time.

3.      Do not do more than you can do.

·         Set reasonable expectations with dinners, gifts and events you plan. When you set your expectations too high and you are unable to fulfill them…you set yourself up for guilt and could deepen your depression. When the holidays come less is more.

4.      Do find time for yourself.

·         Make sure you find some time to be alone. Everyone needs a moment to breathe and when you suffer from a mental illness you probably need more time than most. I know that I do and I find time by sneaking off to the bathroom or hiding in a closet if I need too. Sometimes I make an excuse that I need to get something from the store and sit in the parking lot a few extra minutes. Do what you have to do to find that 10 minutes of alone time.
5.      Do cry when you need too.

·         Sometimes things can become so overwhelming that you feel the need to cry. Cry! Crying can be a way to refresh yourself. Don’t feel guilty and don’t feel like you have to hold it in.
6.      Give Back.

·         Giving back to others has a way to make you feel good even when you think that nothing else can. It relieves some of the guilt you may have for not being happy during the happiest time of the year. Volunteer at a shelter. Coordinate a collection of items you can donate.  Giving back to your community or others in need can help and those people who aren’t able to help themselves. 

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