Christ Hospital in Jersey City Offers Holiday Stress Tips
The holidays should be a time of joy, good cheer and high hopes for the upcoming new year. However, after the gift shopping, holiday decorating, and family get-togethers are done, many people are often left with elevated levels of stress or depression this time of the year.
The holidays are also a time when people feel the loss of a loved one more sharply. Even the memory of a traumatic event, such as a serious illness, can dampen one’s holiday spirits. Older adults, for example, may feel isolated or forgotten, as the season reminds them of happier times.
Whatever the reason, there are strategies that we can use to fight holiday depression.
The health care professionals at Christ Hospital offer the following suggestions to help ease the stress in the midst of this holiday season:
Make a list and prioritize the activities that are important to you.
- Limit your alcohol consumption. Drinking too much can lead to uninhibited behavior, hangovers, and remorse, all of which can lead to depression.
- Make an active effort not to worry too much or get bogged down with details.
- Avoid overeating and get enough rest. Though it may be hard to do, the benefits of both are obvious.
- Play games to keep your brain sharp. There are many different kinds of games — such as trivia, memory and math — and skill levels to suit all kinds of people. Games can also be a fun way to spend time with others.
- Increase your physical activity. Go for walks at safe and warm locations, such as the mall, which will help improve lower body strength, maintain mobility and help prevent cognitive decline. Being active increases your endorphins, which decreases stress levels.
- Spend time with supportive and caring people. These kinds of social connections are good for your emotional well-being.
- Laugh a lot. Laughing increases circulation, immune system defenses and mental function. As the saying goes, laughter often is the best medicine.
- Remember to take some time for yourself. Do the things that you enjoy, such as reading a book or listening to music.
For more information about depression, anxiety, and substance dependence, please call Christ Hospital’s Department of Behavioral Health Services at (201) 795-8375.