For most people the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is the best time of the year. For others the holiday season can be awful, a time of loneliness, depression and anxiety, often referred to as the holiday blues. Realistic expectations and certain behavioral changes can help with the holiday blues.
Some people feel overwhelmed trying to balance the demands of family, work, shopping and social obligations. The severe economic difficulties we are now experiencing can cause added financial strain and anxiety.
The seemingly never ending wars going on, the unstable political climate and conflict add to the stress. Add personal losses of family members and health and relationship difficulties, and it is not easy being jolly during this time of year.
By being realistic and accepting things as they are and not as you wish, you can feel better during this time. As an example, if you don’t get along with certain family members, the situation won’t change just because it’s Christmas. Accepting this will make visiting them easier, or you can change your holiday routine altogether, and do something different that you enjoy.
Some tips for coping with the holidays:
-Have realistic expectations about interactions with family and friends. There will always
be some people you will never please.
-Limit your spending. Don’t stress yourself out buying gifts you can’t afford.
-Make a list of activities that you especially enjoy and skip those that you don’t really
-Don’t set yourself up by comparing today with the good old days. Today is what it is.
-Limit your alcohol consumption. Too much alcohol leads to bad behavior, hangovers
-Share holiday responsibilities such as shopping, cooking, and party planning.
-Spend time with caring, supportive people and reach out to those who you can help.
– Eat well and enjoy holiday goodies in moderation.
– Get regular exercise, fresh air and sunshine.
-Set aside quiet time for prayer, meditation and to reflect on the true meaning of the
holiday season. Be greatful for your blessings. New Years is a time for new beginn-
ings. Let go of the past and focus on the future.
Thankfully, the holiday blues are usually short lived, lasting from a few days to a few weeks. The good news is that they usually subside after the holiday season ends and daily routines are resumed.