When most people think about the holidays, they associate them with joy, cheer, and togetherness. However, for some people, the holidays may be draining and even depressing. This is even harder when everything around you is focused on happiness. The good news is, you don’t have to just accept the holiday blues. Here are some great ways to overcome them and bring back your holiday cheer.

If your family is far away or no longer with you, loneliness can be a big cause of your feelings. If you can’t be with the ones you love on the holidays, that doesn’t mean you need to be alone. You can find people from work or school who are far away from home and invite them to enjoy a holiday meal. You could also volunteer at a nursing home, homeless shelter, or hospital. Not only will you find people to be around, you also get the joy of helping others feel better on the holidays.

A great way to give yourself a boost at the holiday season is to help someone else celebrate. Churches, businesses, homeless shelters, and many organizations have all kinds of opportunities for you to bring the holiday cheer to others by buying a gift, delivering or serving meals, or doing some other simple task. They often take very little time, but they mean so much to the people you’re helping, which makes you feel a little bit better about your holiday season.

While the holidays are filled with fun, exciting activities, these fun times require preparation, planning, and a lot of hard work. This can add up to a lot of stress that wears you down and leaves you feeling drained and even sick. Be sure to take time off from your busy day to concentrate on yourself. Whether it be taking a nap, doing yoga, watching your favorite movie, or even just taking time to sit and do nothing – taking some “me time” will not only bust your stress and lift your mood, it will also leave you feeling energized and ready to face the rest of your day.
Another great way to fight depression during the holidays, or the rest of the year, is to go out and exercise. You can take a walk, build snowmen with your kids, join a gym, or anything else that will get you up and moving. Not only will it brighten your mood, it will also give you an energy boost to get through your chore list, and will help stop you from putting on those holiday pounds that drag you down. It’s also a great way to spend time with friends and family over the holidays.

The most important thing is to do what makes you happy. If you’re miserable, the people around you will feel it too. If you have too many things on your list, cut down the ones that aren’t as important to you and your family and concentrate on what is.

If you work on making yourself happier around the holidays, your cheer will spread to those around you.