I’ve been in battle the last few weeks. I have not been deployed to a combat zone or anything like that, but I’ve been fighting a battle in my mind – Depression is a never ending battle for those who suffer with it.
I always get concerned as we near the holidays because society would have us to believe that this is the time of the year for depression to kick in strong. I personally think it has more to do with the reduction in sunshine but I am not a scientist or doctor, I just know how my body responds to the change in seasons. If this is you too, increase your intake of Vitamin D and then check with your doctor.
So, back to the battle taking place in my mind. There are a few things you can do as we head into the holiday season to help manage bouts of depression.
1. Manage expectations. The holidays are a time for celebration, festivities, gift giving, and fun with friends and family. The truth is many people go into the holidays with high expectations of other people. I stopped placing my expectations in people a long time ago because it always ended in disappointment. So now I go into the holidays expecting to have a great time with a little or a lot. I had modest beginnings so I know how to appreciate the holidays no matter the budget. Because of this I learn to appreciate the moments we create during this special time of the year as opposed to the things we buy or give.
2. Surround yourself with friends and family. The great thing about being in the military is our ability to adapt and overcome. So if you have a crappy relationship with your family – hell, create a new one full of your #BattleBuddies. I love my family dearly but they live far away from me, and we are not always able to be together during the holidays – something I got used to in the Army. So as a result I have friends and #BattleBuddies who I consider family and we’ve taken vacations together and we celebrate holidays together – because we are family! Surround yourself with people who get you during the holidays, you owe it to yourself.
3. Make your happiness a priority. One thing I am very serious about is my vacation and holiday celebrations – don’t mess with my leisure time! I like to celebrate ‘me’ during the holidays. I stated earlier, I had humble beginnings so I am very thankful for how far God has brought me. I give back with donations (monetary or volunteering) during the holidays in remembrance of those times. I also buy myself a gift to place under the tree to celebrate myself because I am worth celebrating – and so are you #BattleBuddy!!
Here’s to a wonderful holiday season! Go ahead and enjoy that cookie and glass of eggnog! Keep these tips at the center of your planning and you are sure to enjoy the holidays with little interruption from depression. Wake up everyday ready to kick depression’s butt! ‘Tis the season #BattleBuddy!