The holiday season is a great time to celebrate with friends and family, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. The pressure to feel good and spread cheer can leave us feeling drained. With that in mind, we put together some helpful ways to survive the holiday season.
1. Schedule me time. Make a list of the things you enjoy doing. Yoga? Pilates? Netflix binge? And then try to fit in at least one or two a week. It’s an important time of the year to go out of your way to make yourself happy. Consider it your holiday gift to yourself.
2. Give back. There are multiple studies that suggest volunteering is an excellent way to ward off depression. Why? The act of donating your time makes you feel more socially connected. It has also been suggested that there are even physical benefits to volunteering including lowered blood pressure and living longer. NYC Service is a great resource for finding a volunteer opportunity in your neighborhood.
3. Meditate. Meditation is a great way to clear your head and quiet your mind, which is probably buzzing with to-do lists this time of year. There are some great apps that you can even do on your commute. Serenity on the 6 train. Headspace is great for beginners and free.
4. Get Physical. Your body releases endorphins when you start exerting yourself and these in turn reduce your perception of pain. Citibike is a good option if you want to embrace the outdoors (more calories are burned when you are cold) but if you are looking for something a little different, try The Wrecking Club. It’s the perfect way to get those endorphins going and release some pent up frustration.
5. Turn off social media and see people in real time. Social media has already been shown to increase feelings of depression and the holidays can make things even worse. Whether it’s an acquaintance’s professionally decorated home, Martha Stewart-like holiday treats or trips to the canary islands, triggers can set you off. Make plans with friends to remember that friends exist in real life too.
6. Embrace the holiday season a little bit. Ice skating in Rockefeller Center? Smores? Wreath making at the Queens Botanical Garden? A Christmas Bazaar for homemade bath soap? A little spirit can go a long way to putting you in a festive mood. Grab that friend or friend and make some memories. Check out Thrillist’s Actually Cool Things to Do in NYC This Holiday Season.