Tips to minimize Holiday Blues
For some, the holidays represent a time of love, family and celebration. For others the holiday season may spark an overwhelming feeling of stress and depression. There are many factors that contribute to holiday depression: Self esteem, financial issues, unemployment, memories of deceased loved ones, relationship status, loneliness and much more. So, how do we minimize holiday blues?
If you find yourself feeling overly fatigued, frustrated, lonely, sad, or wanting to be isolated, there’s a good possibility you are suffering from holiday blues. This is a period of depression and will usually go away after the holiday or winter season, but should still be taken very seriously! If your feelings become too overwhelming, talk to a therapist to figure out your options.
Try these tips to help you feel better:
- Accept your feelings. The very first thing you want to do is accept and acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season. Similarly, if you are having financial issues and you are not happy about it, accept how you are feeling at the moment and realize that it is temporary.
- Be open to change. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or the same like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos. Be open to the possibility that not every holiday season will go according to how you imagined and wanted. You may have a limited budget and you may need to spend accordingly.
- Stick to a routine and get enough sleep. Holiday parties, and other events may make it difficult, but it is extremely important for your mental health to stick to your normal routine of eating and sleeping well.
Try these suggestions:
- Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
- Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
Some options may include:
- Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
- Listening to soothing music.
- Getting a massage.
- Reading a book.
- Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
***If you would like to set up a free 15 minutes phone consultation, visit www.shushantherapy.com and make an appointment today.