POSTED: Monday, December 7, 2009 - 9:40am
UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:59pm
To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the mad rush of the holidays, take time for yourself recommends the American Psychological Association. Staying active through exercise can improve your mood and increase your energy.
"It helps people to have something to do. They feel a sense of accomplishment afterwards and research has found that that's a good way to keep away depression so even just doing a little bit of a walk. You don't have to run a marathon -- it can be just a simple walk around the neighborhood," Dr. Craig Marker, a psychologist, said.
Volunteering with a charitable organization can help put your personal challenges in perspective. "People who are depressed are often very self focused and thinking about themselves and their own misery -- but if you do things for others, you're really kind of focusing on others and that can really help people get out of a depression," Dr. Marker said.
Financial hardship during this season of spending is the number of one cause of holiday anxiety according to the recent stress in america survey. And not only for adults. 30% of children ages 8 to 17 say they worry about their family not having enough money. Parents are encouraged to address these concerns.
"Trying to have a discussion where it's about the fact that we're dealing with this, we're coping with it. Here's how we're coping with it. You know, this might be hard for these various reasons but we're going to get through it together. That kind of message would be very important," Dr. Marker said.