5 Tips To Lift Your Spirit This Christmas

Is the festive season getting you down? Well we have some tips to ensure that you make the most of the holiday spirit!
U
Melissa
Cohen
Published: Wednesday, December 20th 2017
General
T'is the season to be jolly- so they say..  but for some people this isn't the case. Christmas and the festive season in general are some people's yearly nightmare. Whether it be feelings of loss, loneliness, depression or defeat, many people hibernate until the season is over. Suicide and depression rates increase drastically during this time of the year. We have a compiled a list of tips to ensure that you beat those Christmas blues and spend your holiday time doing what makes you happy.
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1. Let Creativity Guide You

Doing things that make you happy is a great place to start when it comes to combating those blues. Creativity releases the happy hormones, endorphins. Instead of buying your family or work colleagues presents, why not spend some time and make them something from scratch. Not only will this save you money, but it will also give you something exciting to be consumed in. If you don't feel like being traditionally festive, why not be creative in your own way. Examples of this could be:
  • Composing a song with some festive lyrics;
  • Paint a festive or colourful painting;
  • Write a festive story;
  • Bake some Christmas cookies and give them to the people most important to you.
According to psychologist, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, an act of creativity can put a person in a 'state of flow'.  This mental state is when a person is fully immersed in performing an activity that causes them to lose track of time and space. When a person is in this state, they are essentially feeling happiness. This feeling can come from performing creative acts and taking on exciting projects.

2. Laugh It Off!

If you find yourself feeling a bit down and depressed during this time or if the stress of Christmas prep is getting to you, just laugh it off. Many say that laughter is the best medicine and studies have, time and time again, proven this theory right. According to the Help Guide, laughing is the best medicine to curb feelings of stress, pain and conflict.
"With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use."
So all you need to do is get yourself a funny book or watch a hilarious movie and you will find yourself centred again.

3. Make Everyday Leg Day

When people feel down in the dumps, all they want to do is lie on the couch and feel sorry for themselves. This, in fact is the worst thing you could do. According to Health Line, exercise helps reduce stress, depression and anxiety.
"It produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. It can also increase brain sensitivity for the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression."
Endorphins are released when the body is moving and the muscles are working, this creating an all round happy feeling. Not only can exercise affect a person's mood, but it can make positive changes all round. From physical strength to mental well-being, keeping active during the season could assist with a positive outlook. If getting into the gym isn't your thing, then why not go for a walk on the promenade or take a nice trail hike in the forest. The summer weather is great over the festive season so why not make the most of it, while still keeping fit and healthy.

4. Bring Yourself Back To Reality

Sometimes in order to realize what's most important to you, you need a reality check. Many people suffer from depression during this time because they try to copy what society wants them to do. Try and shift your perspective and focus on the things that mean the most to you. It's not always about the money and buying your loved ones the most extravagant gifts, rather see Christmas and the festive season as family time. During the rest of the year, we are normally so busy that we don't take time out and do the things we actually want to do. Use this time and see the people you want to and get to those things you wanted to do all year, but just didn't have the time to do.

5. Help Others To Help Yourself

If you find yourself alone this festive season, why not make use of your time and enjoy the season with others less fortunate. Feeling lonely? Don't worry because there are many other people who most probably feel like you do. Instead of isolating yourself, why not give back to the community. Go spend a day at an old age home or at an orphanage. By helping others, you are in turn helping yourself and, in fact giving back is an excellent way to feel enriched and happy. There are tons of places in Cape Town and surroundings where people would love to have a chat or a stroll, so why not spend your time making new friends!
For some exciting DIY gift ideas, click here. 
What do you do to combat the Christmas blues? Let us know.