We’re all used to associating joy & happiness with the holiday season. But have you ever heard of the Holiday Blues? Perhaps you’ve felt it yourself but didn’t realize what it was. Believe it or not, many people feel depressed, lonely, and anxious around this time of year. But why?
We’re going to help you understand what the Holiday Blues are and how to combat those feelings. Whether you’re dealing with the Holiday Blues or someone you know is, our tips should help beat those blues so you can enjoy your holiday – just like anyone should.
Why Do People Get Holiday Blues?
There are several reasons people feel blue around the holiday season. Here is where we’ll list out the most common causes:
- Previous Holiday Occurrences – Holidays are a memorable part of any year. It only makes sense that you’ll be thinking about your previous Christmas celebrations when December comes around. Sometimes sad things happen during the holidays. Other times you may be wishing your current holiday season was as happy as the years before.
- Remembering Losses – If you have a family member or friend who has passed away, then it’s hard not to think of them during the holidays. These are people we often spend the holidays with, so when Christmas & New Year are here, remembering their loss can make it difficult to keep spirits high.
- Difficult Financial Situation – Giving to others is the way we celebrate this time of year. However, if you’re in a tight spot financially, you can end up feeling insufficient. Especially if it seems like others around you aren’t dealing with the same financial stress, it can take a toll on your emotions.
- Lack of Sunlight – Not getting enough sunlight can cause your vitamin D levels to become low. Low levels of exposure to sunlight have been shown to cause depression. This is why depression in states like Alaska and Washington are more common.
- Feeling Lonely – People who live alone or don’t have a significant other can feel extra lonely during the holidays. Being far from family & friends can also cause someone to feel lonely this time of year.
- Feeling Pressure – With all the commotion & excitement everyone is having about the holidays, it can feel like you’re supposed to be happy. Especially when you’re dealing with the Holiday Blues, it can make you feel guilty that you’re not as cheerful as others are around you.
- Fatigue or decreased level of activity
- Loss of interest in hobbies & activities usually enjoyed
- Trouble keeping focus & concentrating
How to Beat the Holiday Blues
Feeling these negative emotions can be a real drag, but they don’t have to be impossible to shake off. Try to follow these tips to help beat the Holiday Blues.
Come to Terms With Your Feelings
Trying to fight against how you feel usually ends up in yourself feeling worse. Accept that you just aren’t feeling so good right now. When you come to terms with your feelings, only then you can start figuring out the root of the problem and what you can do about it.
Find Some Sunlight
Soaking up the sun isn’t the easiest thing to do in the winter, especially if you’re getting a lot of snow. Getting sun can be as easy as taking a 20-minute walk outside. You can also take a trip to the beach or a warmer location where you can find more sun.
Keep Yourself Occupied
Staying busy is one of the best ways to redirect your focus. If you’re already aware that the holiday season is a hard time for you, then try to plan things ahead of time. Go out with friends, have dinner with family, or even volunteer for some charity work. The more time you can spend having fun, being occupied, or helping others, the less time you’ll spend focusing on your Holiday Blues.
Connect With Someone Who Feels the Same
Perhaps you know someone who may be feeling the same way. Reach out to them and talk to them about how you feel. Listen to them too and you guys can help each other out. It’s alright to vent about your feelings, and in a way, it can be healthy to help you get over them. Spending some time with someone who feels like you will help eliminate the loneliness you feel and come to terms with those feelings.
Get Enough Sleep & Relaxation
This busy time of the year can mean your schedule is jam-packed with things to do. It’s important to remember to get enough sleep & alone time to relax so you don’t become overstimulated or exhausted. Being well-rested is known to improve your mood and is always a great way to start your day. On top of that, make sure you have time to relax. If you don’t feel like going out on a certain night, don’t be afraid to say “no.”
Exercising is a tried and true way to boost endorphins and promote a better attitude towards life. When you get your body moving, it can combat low energy levels and improve self-confidence. Not only is it a good way to keep yourself busy, but it’s also a great way to motivate healthy decisions – which will further improve your mood.
Avoid Overeating & Alcohol
Depression and sadness can lead to overeating and drinking if you’re not careful. Be aware of those moments you’re feeling sad and try not to “cure” your feelings with food or alcohol. It can end up becoming a learned habit, resulting in a cycle that’s hard to break. Try to fill your kitchen with healthy snack options such as carrots, nuts, & fresh fruit, so even if you end up snacking, it’s on something healthy. If you’re going to a party or gathering where alcohol is being served, limit yourself to 1 or 2 drinks to prevent any negative effects it can have on your mood.
The Bottom Line
The most important thing you can do when you’re dealing with the Holiday Blues is to keep a positive outlook on life. Think about all the good things in your life. Remember, some people are much less fortunate than you. Go as far as writing lists about the things you’re thankful for every day to help keep your mood in check. A little bit of effort can make a big difference in your holiday experience. Try to follow our tips to make this holiday season a good one.