Do you feel like you may be suffering from post holiday depression?
December was great.
You were on an emotional high from hanging out with friends and family, getting and giving gifts, attending parties and feeling excited for an upcoming fresh start.
You were confident the New Year was going to be fantastic.
Now you are two months into the New Year and you are starting to doubt your ability to make it great.
Your family and friends seem to be rocking it while you are still struggling. You are confused and starting to feel gloomy and down. You start questioning if this year is going to be a lot like last year. And then you begin to feel depressed. It’s like you’ve been on a sugar rush for a couple of months and now the sugar is all gone and you are crashing.
Stop right here! Do not let these negative thoughts go any further. There are many ways to handle the depressing thoughts and know where to send them, which is back to last year.
Take specific actions to get back on track and make this year a great one, filled with many personal achievements.
There is a lot of time left in this year to overcome any sadness you are having, to fulfill your goals for the year and to celebrate your accomplishments. Some of the ways you can start include changing your thoughts, becoming brain healthy, and using laughter as a healing tool, becoming socially active, finding someone to talk to, pampering yourself, and living it up.
No More Stinking Thinking
Stinking thinking is often used by counselors to describe thoughts that are negative.
If you think about it, what we think is usually what happens. If we always think negative thoughts then usually we experience a lot of negative situations. Stinking thinking involves many different attitudes, like all or nothing, jumping to conclusions, labeling and blame.
Negative thinking is one of the causes of depression. It is comprised of self-doubt, self-judgment, worrying and complaining. All of these create problems, especially internally, such as depression.
If you are thinking you are going to fail, you will fail. If you are thinking you are depressed, then you are going to be depressed. So it is of great importance to do whatever it takes to make your thoughts positive, starting today.
Be Brain Happy
It is no surprise that depression affects the brain. The healthier your brain, the easier it will be to fight off negative thoughts and feelings. Find ways to make your brain happy. You can do this by inspiring the brain chemicals that cause happiness to work better. Endorphins can be released during physical activities, serotonin can be acquired through getting enough sunlight, and dopamine is released when you feel awarded or excited.
Eating a healthy diet is also key to making your brain healthy and happy.
Laugh it Off
Looking for something to trigger those endorphins and don’t feel like running a mile? Start laughing. It has been proven that laughter releases endorphins in the brain. It also eases anxiety, relaxes you and lowers your blood pressure. Specific studies have shown that laughter not only helps alleviate depression, it can also make a person have an overall greater satisfaction with life.
Remember how much laughter you had during the holidays. Your endorphins were shooting off like fireworks. It is up to you now to find ways to keep smiling and keep triggering the release of your endorphins.
Up Your Social Game
Social psychology deals with how a person interacts with others socially. The friendships you have can make a difference in your efforts to ease depressive symptoms after the holidays. If you hang around people who have negative attitudes or participate in negative activities, you too will be negative.
Having positive friendships has been shown to help people recuperate from depression and increase longevity. Meaning, the more healthy relationships you have in your life, the healthier you will be, physically and mentally and therefore, will live a longer life.
Talk it Out
Finding someone trustworthy to discuss your feelings is a great way to help with depression. There are many types of professional counselors who are trained specifically in how to treat depression. You can visit a pastoral counselor, a social worker, a psychologist or licensed clinical therapist, just to name a few. The method they use is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. They are trained on how to listen to your needs and prescribe activities to alleviate your depression through behavior and though modifications.
Treating yourself to a massage, mini-vacation, or a night on the town could be the perfect medicine on a day you feel down and out. Research has shown that massage can lead to feeling less depressed, less anxious and less angry.
There are many ways to pamper yourself so go ahead and pick the one you want to try first. If you don’t like massages, maybe you can treat yourself to that favorite chocolate dessert. Or practice meditation or aromatherapy. The key is to find at least one thing a day that makes you feel great.
This can be hard when you feel depressed but it is important for you to get out and live. When you are living you are doing things. When you are engaged in activities, the more likely you will feel connected to the outside world. If you isolate, you are keeping yourself locked down with just your negative thoughts. This is not healthy. The best way to overcome depression after the holidays is to just keep going like you did before the holidays.
Re-write your goals for the year and start working towards them. Schedule lunches with friends, take a class after work, pick up a second job, or learn a new craft. Plan something for every night of the week so you don’t have any excuse to go home and wrestle with negative thoughts.
You are the key factor in your recovery. Be accountable to yourself. Be responsible for your good health. Be kind to yourself. Surround yourself with positive people. Most of all be proud of you for trying new things and for not letting the depression win.