by Lexi Petronis
1: Open your home. If you feel like you're missing out on holiday events, offer to hold a get-together at your place. Make it a potluck or afternoon tea and keep the focus on being with friends. And ask family and friends to help when making meals or buying gifts. If a friend or loved one offers to co-chair the event, take her up on it! Getting party-ready with a friend can make it feel a lot more fun.
2: Keep your brain busy. According to research, things like baking and scrapbooking can keep depression at bay.
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3: Don't drown your sorrows. Alcohol is a depressant, so it's not the best idea to look for happiness at the bottom of a bottle. Healthy habits and routines including eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Be careful not to over-indulge in high-sugar foods at parties or consume too much alcohol.
4: Control your RSVPs. You really--seriously!--don't have to go to everything. Pick the ones you truly want to go to--the ones that make you feel happy, not the ones that stress you out.5: Manage stress. Recognize when you start getting stressed--and deal with it. When you start getting frustrated, take a few deep breaths, or go outside for some fresh air. A little break can help you calm down and get centered.
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6: Don't get crazy with the spending. It's easy to spend too much over the holidays--and end up with real money concerns. Make a holiday budget that includes the cost of gifts and extra meals, postage, and tickets to events. Seek out ways to spend time together (instead of gifts), like home-cooked meals on the day of their choice.
7: Be patient. You can't exactly change how other people are feeling or acting during the holidays. Remember that you can only focus on you, so imagine sticky situations beforehand and how you might respond.
8: Give yourself a break. Emphasize the spirit of giving rather than the amount--or what people are giving. Focus on what you can do and appreciate what is good enough. Your time and thoughtfulness is worth much more than an expensive gift.
9: Laugh. Research has suggested that laughing can actually alleviate stress, pain, or sadness--look for the happy in every situation.
Have you ever fielded some holiday blues? How did you deal with feeling down?
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