The holidays can be a difficult time for everyone, but especially those who are still in recovery. Don’t let seasonal sadness set you back. Here are some important tips to avoid holiday depression.
Check out Some Volunteer Programs
Volunteering and helping others can keep your mind off your own difficulties. Remember: keeping busy is important, as is interacting with other people. Volunteer for something close to your heart.
Reach Out to Friends and Family
Let your friends and family know that you’re having problems. Going it alone can be difficult, and your support system can help you identify potential triggers before they become major issues.
Keep It Social
Sometimes, holiday season sadness arises due to an inability to be social. Get out and do things if you’re otherwise home alone. Call a friend and make a plan: It’ll be better than focusing on your problems.
Take Time for Yourself
Of course, other times seasonal sadness is related to being around people too much. If you’re an introvert, you may find that your energy has been completely depleted. Give yourself the time to recover.
Go to a Meeting
Don’t forget to go to AA meetings or other 12-step program meetings when you feel that you need them. Not only can you help yourself, but you can help others who are dealing with similar situations. Connect with your sponsor if you need it.
See a Therapist
Seasonal sadness could run deeper than you think. Some people experience something known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which makes them depressed during specific seasons. If you have this, you might actually need medication.
Don’t Overextend Yourself
The other major issue people encounter during the holiday season is related to finances. If you’re stressed about money, don’t overextend yourself. Rather than buying expensive gifts, consider hand-making items instead.
Be Careful Around Family
Family can be a trigger for those who are in recovery. If you’ve had emotional issues with your family in the past, be careful about interacting with them, and be knowledgeable about your stress levels.
Keep a Journal
Being mindful about your moods is often the first step towards making sure that you’re managing them properly. Throughout the holiday season, keep a journal of how you feel and what has impacted those feelings. A tenth step is always a helpful and, in many cases, allows you to see resentments which are always the number one offender.