Do you suffer from the “holiday blues”?
Although the holidays are typically a time of celebration and sharing, for some people, this time can be distressing and lonely. Depression during the holidays commonly occurs in those with existing mental health issues.
Typically, the “holiday blues” are transient and do not persist after the holidays. However, if you are struggling with a mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety, you may find that your distressing feelings are more intense or frequent during this time.
The “holiday blues” may be triggered by various life stressors, such as loneliness, relationship stress, financial issues, medical problems, and separation from family and friends.
11 Ways to Cope with the Holiday Blues
- Connect with others: social engagement can alleviate feelings of loneliness. Share your feelings with someone you trust. If you can’t physically be with others, try texting, calling, or video conferencing.
- Focus on what can control: Instead of worrying about how things should be, try shifting your focus on what you do have and what you can influence. When we compare ourselves to others, this can lead to a sense of deprivation rather than gratefulness.
- Find a hobby: Redirecting your mental activity to a hobby or crafting can help relieve negative feelings. You may also gain a sense of mastery and enjoyment from your creativity. Find a class to meet others with similar interests.
- Share your responsibilities: If you are overwhelmed by all that you must do, ask for help and support.
- Establish a relaxation routine: Visual guided meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing are all techniques that facilitate a sense of calmness and relaxation.
- Get quality and sufficient sleep: Sleep patterns directly influence mood, so try to sleep at least 6-7 hours per night. Implementing sleep hygiene can help improve your sleep.
- Listen to uplifting music: Music can influence our mood, so try listening to uplifting and joyful music.
- Exercise: Physical activity has been shown to improve mood and energy.
- Increase light during the day: Light therapy may help to improve your mood, especially if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
- Limit alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant and can exacerbate feelings of depression.
- Get professional help: If you are really struggling, find a mental health professional who can support you and provide psychological counseling for depression treatment.