When you have depression or anxiety, exercise is often the last thing you want to do. However, once you get motivated, it can make a big difference. Exercise helps prevent many health problems including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and arthritis. Studies have shown that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help reduce anxiety and improve mood.

Avoid Social Media
Believe it or not, social media is brainwashing you to believe that perfection is necessary to achieve happiness, with photo-heavy sites like Instagram and Facebook filled with idealized versions of people and everyday experience. Depressed people who spend time on these sites can develop a serious case of fear of missing out (FOMO). To avoid this, limit your consumption of social media during the holidays and reach out to friends via phone or text message. You’ll get more satisfaction hearing updates from people you actually care about, rather than distant acquaintances you likely haven’t seen in years.

Change your Idea of the “Perfect Christmas”
Many people have a picture in their minds of what the “ideal Christmas” (or any holiday) looks like. However, in most cases this is a romanticized image far removed from any real experience. When they can’t reproduce these idealized versions of the holidays, they feel dissatisfied with the reality of their situation. Forget the “Norman Rockwell Christmas” and be honest about what you can realistically achieve during the holiday season. Be kind to yourself and remember to set achievable goals.

Stay Away from Difficult Relatives
Be careful about resentments from holidays past. Declare a truce with whichever family member or friend you have a beef with. It’s unnecessary to tell these people every resentment on your laundry list of grievances. Don’t let that person do that to you, either.

Feeling like you have too much free time on your hands over the holidays? Volunteer to serve Christmas dinner at a homeless shelter. Work with groups that help underprivileged or hospitalized children during the holidays. There are many opportunities for doing community service. No one can be depressed when they are helping others.


Posted by Ray Simon

Ray Simon is a veteran copywriter with more than a decade's worth of experience in the field. He studied journalism at Vanderbilt University, graduating Cum Laude in 2007. Ray currently specializes in writing content and news articles for independent publications.