- Do the holidays trigger stress, sadness, or anxiety?
- Are you stressed by all the social events and activities that the holidays bring?
- Are you concerned about your finances and how to manage money during the holidays?
- Are you feeling the “holiday blues”?
The holidays are a time that triggers intense emotional experiences. You may sometimes feel joy, love, and pleasure while also sadness, fear, and anxiety. Holidays come with social expectations from family, friends, and employers that can be hard to cope with.
Depression, loneliness, and anxiety are common emotional reactions we experience during the holidays. The financial stressors from the rising cost of living, the long-term impacts of the pandemic, and global events cloud even the most joyful events.
If you are struggling with the “holiday blues,” they 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 these times, establishing and sticking to helpful coping skills can help you manage your stress.
Helping Ways to Reduce the Holiday Blues
- Connect with others: Social engagement can alleviate feeling overwhelmed and help you feel supported.
- Focus on what can control: Instead of worrying about how things should be, try shifting your focus to what you can influence.
- Get help: Share work and personal responsibilities with others. Ask or hire others to help you manage.
- Take time to relax: Deep breathing, meditation, nature walks, calming music, and reading an enjoyable book are all ways that we can calm our nervous system.
- Get sufficient and quality sleep: Sleep reduces the physical activation caused by stress. Restore your body with consistent and restful sleep.
- Ponder on what you’re grateful for: Reflect on what you cherish and what gives you happiness. This change in perspective can generate wanted emotions and initiate helpful behaviors.
- Commit to your values: As the year ends, review your values and think about ways that you can behave that are in alignment with our values. Connecting with our values brings about engagement and flow, increasing our sense of well-being.