Also, take the opportunity to explore new things to do that don't involve pricey dinners or drinks. Staying out late drinking is exhausting, and not good for your health. It tends to bring people down more than make them feel better.
2. Get to the gym or go outside to exercise
Foregoing fitness only deprives you of the exercised-induced endorphins that might help boost your mood. The challenge is getting yourself there when you least feel like it.
Resist any excuse not to go, or make a bargain with yourself that you only have to exercise for 10 minutes. Your heart rate will start to rise, and most likely you'll stick it out longer because you're already there. Plan a workout with a friend so you're less likely to back out. Day gravitates to group fitness classes with high-energy music to keep your spirits up.
3. Don't look at Facebook
Even though you know that most people only post their happiest moments on social media, it's easy to lose perspective and get a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). You can't compare yourself to others' highlight reels of their lives. Limiting your consumption of Facebook is helpful during the holidays. Reach out to your close friends via phone or text message when you feel like connecting with people. You'll get more satisfaction hearing updates from people you actually like, rather than tons of people you haven't seen in years.
4. Change your thinking
If you feel isolated, it's important to remember you're still in charge of your life.
The way to bring more abundance into your life is to give first. Find opportunities to volunteer. Meet people. Attend events. Instead of feeling left out of others' holiday plans. Think of the break as free time to do whatever you want -- even if that means spending the day in bed with your furry critters and Netflix. It's a challenging time and it's OK to feel overwhelmed and sad. Finally, it helps tell yourself that the holidays are just a season that will soon pass. Then think optimistically about the coming year and all of the good experiences waiting for you. If you struggle with serious and continuous depressive symptoms, be sure to reach out to a healthcare provider to discuss your condition.
Gary M. Fink, MA