8 TIPS FOR SURVIVING DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY DURING THE HOLIDAYS
1. Try to schedule a theater or dance performance either the night before or the day of the holiday--In major cities across the United States, many shows are on during Thanksgiving and Christmas. If there is no live theater, go to a movie theater and watch a film. You can do this alone or extend an invitation to a neighbor or business colleague who may be spending the holidays alone.
2. Go on a trip out of town--There are many cruises or day trips during this season.
3. Join a community group such as the YMCA--or take a photography or art class that has planned activities on or just before the holidays. John could take a class photographing trees and turning those pictures into holiday cards or presents.
4. Organize a hike into the countryside or a park tour with a group--In major cities, there are tours every day of the week, including during the major holidays.
5. Go to a yoga retreat or a spa resort--Many hotels and spas have special weekend activities and rates at Thanksgiving and Christmastime.
6. Plan an intensive exercise routine—Hire a trainer who's free to work you out during the holiday.
7. Help others who are less fortunate by volunteering at a soup kitchen--One of the best ways to forget your own loneliness is to help others at shelters or hospitals. Getting "outside of ourselves" and helping others in need helps take the focus off of our own situation, circumstances, and feelings, and often delivers a significant emotional boost.
8. Try an AA meeting if you find yourself drinking too much--AA and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) are immediate communities that help people deal with alcohol or drug abuse, which may be covering up negative feelings at this time of year.