Thursday, December 9, 2010
5 Tips for Beating Holiday Blues and Stress
Psychology professor Jean Twenge offers advice on how to deal with family drama and loneliness.
Get rid of holiday stress and blues by following Twenge's five tips.
The holidays are traditionally a time for family and festivities, but for some people, that causes more anxiety and sadness than joy.
To get rid of holiday stress and blues, SDSU psychology professor Jean Twenge offers the following five tips:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep your focus on what’s important during the holidays: relaxing and spending time with friends and family. Gifts don’t have to be perfect, and neither do your house and clothes.
- Come up with a game plan. Twenge suggests preparing for possible family drama by thinking about how you’ll react. That way you’ll be less likely to get sucked into the negativity. Diffuse situations as much as possible; most of the time, you’re not going to change someone’s mind by arguing.
- Prepare for the inevitable. If there are questions that always come up (e.g., “When are you two going to have children?”), practice some answers that will deflect the question, and then move on (e.g., “Not sure. So, how's your new job?”).
- Turn the tables. If you have a relative who’s always critical, agree with him or her, or change the subject and then go talk to someone else. If you have to talk to someone, ask about what interests them. They’ll be so busy talking, they might forget to criticize.
- Beat the holiday blues. Twenge mentions that sadness around the holidays sometimes happens because the days are shorter. She recommends getting out in the sunlight as much as possible to fight winter blues. And if you’re sad because you can’t see your family, try to see those relatives and friends that you can, and learn how to use Skype to talk to and see loved ones that are far away.
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