Hol­i­day par­ties are in full swing, but this time of year isn’t al­ways full of cheer. If you’re strug­gling with anx­i­ety or mild de­pres­sion, heed this expert ad­vice.

Family Circle - - ON DUTY -

Cut back on so­cial me­dia It’s easy to play the com­par­i­son game when your news­feed is filled with per­fect Christ­mas trees and smil­ing fam­i­lies in match­ing PJS. Un­plug as much as pos­si­ble, sug­gests Kati Mor­ton, LMFT, au­thor of Are u ok? Fo­cus on what you love about the sea­son—like mak­ing grandma’s cookie recipe and go­ing for walks af­ter a fresh snow­fall. Lower the bar If so­cial gath­er­ings tend to over­whelm you, con­sider go­ing to only one party this year. (You do not have to be at ev­ery hol­i­day func­tion.) Or de­cide to spend just a cer­tain amount of time at each party you do at­tend. What­ever goal you set for your­self, ac­com­plish­ing it will feel good!

Take a break If you’re at a party and feel anx­ious or up­set, step out­side for 5 to 10 min­utes to take in the crisp win­ter air. Along the same lines, don’t for­get to set aside time for the peo­ple you re­ally care about, even if it’s a night at home play­ing board games with your kids and drink­ing hot co­coa! You’ll feel more en­er­gized when the next year-end to-do comes along. Don’t fear ther­apy The hol­i­day blues should fade with the New Year’s toasts. How­ever, if things that usu­ally de­light you no longer do, or you ex­pe­ri­ence changes in ap­petite or sleep pat­tern on most days over the course of two weeks, don’t be afraid to talk with a coun­selor or psy­chol­o­gist.

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