Handling The Holidays When Your Life Is In Limbo

Love, Heartbreak

How to curb your depression this holiday season during your time of personal transition.

Sure, the holidays are filled with great food, fun parties, and general good cheer (I was at a crowded Macy’s yesterday, and I wasn’t shoved once!), but for a lot of people, this is anything but the most wonderful time of year. Those of us in periods of transition—even positive ones—are especially susceptible to the feelings of loneliness, frustration, depression, and the stress the holidays can elicit. After the jump, a few tips for surviving the holidays during some of life’s biggest transitions. The Frisky: Tips For Surviving The Holidays Solo

You’re recently unemployed

The national unemployment rate in the U.S. is the highest it’s been in over 14 years, which means you’re far from alone. Take comfort this season in favorite holiday traditions that don’t cost much: pile your friends or family in the car and take a drive to see all the Christmas lights (luckily, gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in ages), put your baking skills to use and have a cookie-trade with some friends, get a few holiday rentals, make a big batch of hot chocolate and have an at-home movie night. The Frisky: The 6 Best Holiday Hangover Remedies

When it comes to holiday gifts, agree on a spending cap with your friends and family and consider making gifts this year. (Do you knit? Make a few scarves! Mixed CDs, baked goods, a thoughtful photo album, or even a heartfelt letter are other great options.)

It’s your first holiday season with a new partner

Whether you’re stressed about meeting his family for the first time or concerned about an appropriate gift, it’s important to remember that this is a great time of year to have someone special to share it with. To avoid awkwardness when meeting a significant other’s family for the first time this holiday season, ask about appropriate attire (you don’t want to show up in a party dress if everyone in his family is in jeans and NASCAR sweatshirts). Also inquire about anything unique you should be prepared for (like a cousin with Tourette’s Syndrome who’s likely to twitch through the meal), and whether there are any topics you should avoid with certain family members. For bonus points, bring a dish and a small gift for the hostess. The Frisky: Dealing With Holiday Hell

As for a gift for your new sweetie, listen for hints and clues she may drop, avoid jewelry or anything too personal if you’ve been together less than a couple of months, and consider tickets to an event he may enjoy. Any gift that leads to quality time together and new memories is ideal. The Frisky: MERRIMe, A New Web Comedy About Online Dating