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Monday, December 14, 2015

Fending Off the Holiday Blahs

avoid depression during holidaysAs much as we build up the holidays as a time of anticipation, gathering with family and friends, and experiencing the joy of generosity, it is not uncommon to feel down and depressed during this time of year. The holiday blahs may result from the season not living up to expectations—or the reminder that life’s problems seem much bigger than they did when we were young and na├»ve. Family gatherings can become contentious, and commercialism can taint the beauty of giving. For men and women in addiction recovery, the heaviness of the holidays may be even more substantial as we try to develop new traditions and mend broken family relationships.

If you are struggling with feelings of sadness or hopelessness this holiday season, keep these tips in mind:

Listen to your body. Sleep when you are tired, give your body the healthy foods it needs to thrive, and prioritize exercise over shopping stress. When anxiety engulfs you, take a moment to do some deep breathing exercises. Breathe in slowly for five seconds, hold your breath for 10 to 15 seconds, and release your breath slowly over a five-second period. This simple exercise reinvigorates your body and focuses your mind.

Live in the present. Enjoy the moment rather than running frantically toward some imaginary finish line. Listen to the birds; take a walk; listen to music that inspires you.

Offer a random act of kindness. Pay for someone’s coffee or helping them load gifts into their car. Donate to a food or gift drive to benefit those in need, or greet a stressed-out retailer with a smile and friendly word. Many of those around you are also facing stress or depression during the holiday season, and you can make a difference in their day.

Get help when you need it. While sometimes we just have a passing case of the holiday blues, it’s important to recognize when real depression has set in. Depression can be a very real part of addiction recovery, and you may need professional help to make it through the coming weeks. Call your therapist, talk to your sponsor, or enroll in a rehab program if you are tempted to relapse or isolate yourself during the holiday season.

Coast to Coast Recovery Drug Rehab for Men & Women
At Coast to Coast Recovery, we walk with clients throughout every season of life as they pursue sobriety and treatment success. Don’t let your addiction-related holiday depression go unchecked. Speak with a member of our credentialed addiction team, or call today to enroll in our treatment planning and consulting services: 800.210.8229.

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