Thanksgiving officially kicks off what many consider to be the holiday season. However, the holidays are not happy for everyone. In fact, the holiday season can often leave people feeling rather sad, exhausted and blue. For those who have suffered grief, trauma, financial difficulties, are disconnected from family and traditions, or may have some history of depression, November and December can be months of misery.

This year, be intentional in your efforts to manage holiday stress and depression by doing something fun, different and out of the ordinary.

Instead of caroling in the neighborhood, get together with a couple of friends and take advantage of the more than 90 miles of golf-cart paths. Pick a spot near a busy path (not on the path but in the grassy area beside the path), grab that santa’s hat out of your ornament box, and a few familiar carols from memory, and you’ve got yourself an evening to remember! Singing in perfect pitch is not a requirement for this activity.

1. Why wait until January 1, 2016 to start your new exercise regimen?

Get a head start on everyone else and hit the gym or the pavement now. Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. And, you can enjoy your holiday favorites without guilt.

2. Try a new recipe.

Instead of creating more expenses by giving purchased gifts, create a tasty experience by giving homemade treats such as deserts, eggnog, or even homemade soup.

3.If you don’t think your neighbors can appreciate your caroling efforts on the golf cart path, try your singing out at the humane society!

What better way to brighten your spirits than volunteering your time with a rescued pet. Spending time with pets can actually help to decrease your feelings of isolation or loneliness.

4. Make holiday greeting cards and take them to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Many elderly residents do not have family members to visit them. Your holiday card will brighten their room, and their spirits. Altruism is just plain ole good for your soul!

5. Make holiday greeting cards and take them to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Many elderly residents do not have family members to visit them. Your holiday card will brighten their room, and their spirits. Altruism is just plain ole good for your soul!

If you need help dealing with the holiday blues, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Thriveworks Counseling in Peachtree City, GA.

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