Beating Those Yuletide Blues
When you feel blue, all of that holiday cheer and stress of the season can push you into full-blown depression. To avoid falling into the jolly pit of gloom, follow these guidelines.

1. Avoid Being Alone. Sitting and mulling over sad thoughts while the world parties is a bad idea on so many levels. Seek out family members, friends and neighbors. Join in a spiritual ceremony.

2. Host a Gathering. It doesn't have to be huge party. Cookies and beverages make for a festive evening of conversation. Invite friends for a holiday movies screening.

3. Limit Your Alcohol Intake. You might feel good for a short time but drinking too much booze can plunge you into a chemical downer.

4. Set a Spending Limit and Stick to It. Getting into debt guarantees family and personal strife. Instead, give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange.

5. Volunteer. Nothing says holiday spirit more than volunteering. Giving feels good. And, when you help people who have challenges in their lives, it makes you realize how blessed you are.

6. Manage Your Time. Plan ahead so you are not rushing around in whirlwind of failure. Schedule days to shop, days to bake, days to visit and days to celebrate. Be sure to include specific times to relax.

7. Get a Massage. A review by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine found that massage cut the body's level of cortisol, a stress hormone, in half. Massage also increases the "feel-good" hormones - serotonin and dopamine.

8. Seek Out Sunshine. Shorter winter days and time cooped up inside deprives you of light rays that turn out to be key to a happy mood.

9. Go to the Gym. Exercising releases endorphins, nature's happy pill. Plus you'll feel better about those extra holiday calories if you've spent some time in the gym or out power walking.

10. Give Yourself a Break. Decide what is really important and let the rest go. The Yuletide police won't come and get you if you don't buy everyone an expensive present or go to every tree lighting and family to-do.

Take the time to be grateful and feel the joy of the season and you'll beat those blues.