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As the holiday season kicks off with much merriment and joy, many people look forward to the celebrations, gift buying frenzies, and family gatherings that are sure to fill up the calendar. There is no other time in the year that brings more excitement to both kids and adults than the Christmas season. However, this time of year can also leave some people with feelings of sadness, whether it is because social gatherings are uncomfortably awkward, loved ones are distant or deceased, or because of the cold winter ahead.

Make the most of this wonderful time of year by following some of these tips to avoid the holiday blues.

  1. Enjoy the moments. Be present in the moment, whether watching a Christmas tree lighting ceremony or sharing a cup of hot cocoa with a friend, rather than dwelling on how you wish things should be. Give yourself permission to let things be and to appreciate where you are at this moment.
    2. Get rested. With all of the hustle and bustle, it is so easy to skimp on getting enough rest when there is so much to see and do, but a good night’s rest is critical for warding off feelings of holiday sadness.
    3. Focus on the things that truly matter. Let go of the rest. For example, instead of feeling sad over not receiving a present from a loved one, focus your energy towards non-tangible “gifts,” such as spending quality time together. These gifts are priceless.
    4. Keep moving. Keeping up with the regular exercise routine can be tough with all the shopping, decorating, and party planning this time of year requires. Exercise helps keep the energy levels up and helps support a positive attitude.
    5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Lay off the need to be perfect with every detail. Focus on the holiday experience that is most meaningful to you and let it be. Sweating the small stuff is a sure-fire way to plunge yourself into frustration, anxiety and a negative mood.
    6. Start new traditions. Old holiday traditions that are no longer meaningful can be a source of stress. Start new ones (or change up the old ones) that will fit what is important to you now.
    7. Stay connected. The endless holiday to-do lists can be overwhelming and lead you to withdraw from your support system. A disconnect from others creates opportunities for sadness, regret and disappointment to take charge. By delegating holiday tasks to others, you will create more time for those who matter most.

 Merry Christmas to all and have a very happy holiday season!

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