Being sad or depressed during the holidays don’t necessary correlate. A lot of people think the holidays are the happiest time of the year with all of the holiday cheer being talked about. But with a bit of planning, the holidays can leave you feeling up instead of down! Here are some easy ways to cope with being sad around the holidays.

1. Forget Perfection

One thing that can often bring people into depression is not being able to gift or provide like they want to. Many individuals are focused on giving gifts, hosting parties and donating to charities during the holiday season. So instead of focusing and stressing out on the perfection of things. Make a simple list of things that make you happy and start a new tradition to volunteer to help the less fortunate. Taking your eyes off of the “stuff” that comes with the holiday season will allow you to see the positive and cheerfulness of the season.

2. Grieve on Your Own Time

If this is the first holiday season without your loved one, it’s a good time to talk about your feelings and find a support group. There’s no one way that individuals deal with the grieving process, so opening up and talking about your feelings allows you to not keep everything bottled up leaving you feeling alone and sad.

3. Schedule Regular Exercise

It’s true what they say endorphins make you happy. Many people who exercise regularly can lose their routine to a busy holiday schedule. But making sure to keep regular exercise on your daily to-do list can allow you to release the stress you may be under and improve your mood. Whether you take a brisk walk for 30 minutes or hit the gym for an hour. Exercise can help ease any sadness you may be feeling.

4. Sleep In

Holiday parties and weekend activities can throw off your normal sleep scheduled, so take a day off and schedule some time to just sleep and relax. Getting an inadequate amount of sleep every day can be linked back to depression. Try to get to bed early or take the next day to sleep in!