Understanding the holiday blues
The holiday season can trigger depression for a number a reasons. You may not be able to make it home for the holidays, or you may be in a rough financial situation. If you’re going through a difficult time, it can be tough to see others with extra joy in their lives.
Seasonal depression is more common than you may think. Approximately 14 percent of Americans experience the “winter blues.”
These blues can be especially overwhelming during a time of change. Christmas and New Year’s Eve often present challenging demands, from never-ending parties to family obligations. These events can come with higher levels of stress.
If you’re dealing with feelings of stress or depression, know that you aren’t alone. There are ways to manage your symptoms and get the help you need.
The most common symptom of the holiday blues is amplified depression. This is true of people who may or may not being dealing with depression already.
You may be experiencing a bout of seasonal depression if you feel like simple activities are more difficult than normal. This includes getting out of bed, making dinner, and taking a walk.
Other symptoms of the blues include:
- feeling more tired than usual
- losing interest in things that used to bring you joy
- having trouble concentrating
There are many things that can contribute to the holiday blues. Whether it’s something as simple as overscheduling yourself or a deeper emotional need, it’s possible to work through your feelings and start anew.
Here are nine ways to deal with the holiday blues:
- Limit alcohol – Limit your alcohol intake, and try not to keep it readily available around your house. If you’re attending a party and you know alcohol will be accessible, limit yourself to one or two drinks. Drinking to excess can affect your mood and amplify any negative feelings that you may have.
- Get plenty of sleep – Try to go to bed at a specific time each night. Being well-rested can improve your mood and help you feel ready to take on the day.
- Learn to say “no” – Overscheduling and not making time for yourself can lead to emotional breakdowns. Learn how to say “no,” and stay firm on your decision.
- Be open to new traditions – You may have an image of what you think the holiday should consist of, and this may not be what’s actually happening. Instead of holding on to what the holiday should have been, allow new traditions to unfold.
- Get support when mourning a loved one– If you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be especially tough. Although it can be tempting to isolate yourself and grieve, it can be beneficial to spend time with your friends and family. They can support you through this difficult time.
- Spend time with your loved ones – Instead of spending the holidays alone at home, get your friends or family together for a dinner party at your place. The more the merrier! You can spruce things up with lively decorations and add welcoming floral arrangements to your living spaces.
- Exercise regularly – Plug in your headphones and pop out for a walk around the block a couple of times a day. A quick 10-minute walk will get your heart rate up and release mood-boosting endorphins.
- Do something fun to get over a recent breakup – It can be difficult to be alone when you’re nursing an aching heart. Instead of sitting at home, fill up your calendar with activities. Websites such as meetup.com offer group outings, such as dinners and dancing, almost every night of the week.
- Avoid overeating – Before heading out to social events, fill up on veggies. You can even fill up a small sandwich bag and snack in the car. Holiday outings can often lead to overeating, which can affect your mood and overall well-being.
The holidays can be an especially difficult time for older adults. If you’re unable to be with friends or family this holiday, look for volunteer opportunities that allow you to be around others. Some non-profits will even come pick you up if you’re unable to drive.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As people follow COVID-19 guidance from experts and avoid large gatherings the holidays will look a lot different this year.
The Center for Disease Control has recommended people not travel and to celebrate with the people in their homes.
However, experts say there are things people can do to make their days if not merry, a little brighter.
Vladimir Sainte is a licensed clinical social worker with Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health. He says the best thing people can do is be honest with themselves and acknowledge they miss the holiday traditions.
“There is power in awareness and this can help us pivot to shift our thoughts so we are not lingering and self-defeating thoughts,” Sainte said.
41 Action News asked members of the community what traditions they would miss the most this year.
Some of the answers included going to church, going to the Nutcracker Ballet, and attending the plaza lighting ceremony among other things.
However, the most consistent response received was spending time with family and loved ones.
Sainte says these are sentiments he’s hearing from the patients he serves.
“Obviously the holidays are always a hard time for people because of loss and not being with specific loved ones. So, I feel as if it’s been magnetized because of the safety parameters,” he adds.
According to Sainte, acknowledging your feelings is just the first step. He suggests coming up with new traditions or putting a twist on your old favorites.
“Whether that is setting up a zoom Christmas party or maybe sending out some holiday letters or emails there are things that we can do,” Sainte said. “Change is hard, right? But, it’s not always bad. There are still ways to celebrate the season with your loved ones, even if you cannot engage in those favorite traditions.”
Finally, he says if you’re still fighting the holiday blues, reach out for help.
“It’s as easy as calling our Truman intake number or reaching out to, I advocate to all of my clients, reach out to the back of your insurance card and call that number and ask if you have providers who fall within your network,” he said.
Sainte says these are some signs you can look at for if you feel like you’re going through depression:
- Any major change in behavior
- If you’re sleeping more
- Feeling anxious
- Experiencing night terrors
- Not enjoying activities you normally would
The Rebound Kansas City is our effort is to help metro residents play a role in moving our community forward. We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas to via email to [email protected] and we welcome you to join in the conversation on the Rebound KC Facebook Group.
Whether you’re Getting Back to Work after a layoff, need help Making Ends Meet during these trying times or need tips on Managing the Pressure we’re all feeling, The Rebound has resources to find help. We’ll also make sure local leaders are Doing What’s Right to get Kansas City back track after a three-month shutdown.
As a friend of mine says, “Reality is unavoidable.” The reality of many people’s holidays includes too much to do and not enough time, too much to purchase and not enough money and too much to eat and not enough willpower. On the other hand, some people experience not enough family, fun and friendship. Fighting against the reality of your life at this moment will only make you bluer. Instead, be kind to yourself, laugh at yourself every now and then, seek support and vow to make some changes during a less stressful time of year.
As families change and grow, traditions will change as well. For example, if you are a working woman who had a stay-at-home mother, instead of trying to reproduce the exact old-fashioned holiday of your childhood, infuse what you can do with meaning, beauty and love. Or if you are divorced, share the holidays with your ex with as much generosity and harmony as you can conjure up. It will be the best gift you give to your kids this year. If you are single or far away from your family, invite others into your home and give the words “extended family” new meaning.
Help others not because you should, but because it is the best antidote to self-pity and seasonal sadness. Find someone who is struggling more than you are, lend them a helping hand, and remember the real meaning of the holidays.
Drop into a Christian church or Muslim mosque or Jewish synagogue or Hindu template or. you get the idea. Sometimes just sitting in sacred space can remind you of the true meaning of the holidays. Most places of worship welcome all people, even those just looking for a touch of grace in the midst of a stressful day. Instead of hurrying by that church you have passed a hundred times on the way to work, take a moment to enter its doors and sit quietly, imbibing the atmosphere and the prayers of its members.
Eat well, drink a lot of water, exercise and then be merry. Instead of making one more feeble New Year’s resolution to join a gym or take a yoga class, do it right now. You will be amazed at how just the littlest bit of movement will lift your spirits and how reducing the amount of junk food, sugar and alcohol will reduce your blues. And sleep—for goodness’ sake, do whatever it takes to get enough of it. Sleep deprivation is at the root of many people’s depression.
Don’t close your eyes the next time you use your credit card. Overspending during the holidays will not only increase your stress now, but will leave you feeling anxious for months afterward as you struggle to pay the bills. Buck the holiday system of excessive gift-giving and practice simplicity, creativity and basic human kindness.
If a friend or family member has recently died or if you’re far away from home, practice the lost art of grieving. Create an altar with pictures of those you love; light candles every night for someone you have lost; play sacred music and allow yourself to cry, remember, heal.
Forgiveness is the slave that heals a broken spirit. Forgive all sorts of people this holiday season—those from your past, your work, your family and the ones in the news whom you love to hate. Read the stories of people (like Martin Luther King Jr. or Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee) who have used forgiveness to move mountains. If they can do it, so can we.
Everything. Love it all. Even the hard times; even the cranky and crooked people of the world; even yourself, with all of your appalling shortcomings.
The advice in this article will help those of us who feel occasional stress and sadness during the holidays. Dr. Kenneth Johnson, a psychiatrist at Columbia St. Mary’s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, says: “You don’t have to have full-blown depression to experience the holiday blues. … But if you have a period of more than two weeks where you have a depressed mood, crying spells, sleep problems, feelings of guilt and thoughts of death or suicide, you probably have a major depression and should seek medical care. You’re moving beyond the holiday blues.
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How to beat the holiday blues
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us (and I hope yours was happy!), it’s full steam ahead to Christmas, New Year’s, Hanukkah or whatever holiday you may celebrate!
For many of us, that means trimming a tree, lighting the menorah, baking, shopping, wrapping gifts, cooking galore, and if you’re like me, hanging lights on your trees and shrubs.
This is good for a laugh–here’s a picture of me hanging lights on my pine trees that are getting enormously taller each year! Good thing I invested in an extension pole this year. At least I had the rare fortune of a sunny 80-degree day in Central NY last month when I was decorating—usually I’m facing bitter cold, wind and snow!
Sadly, for many people, what should be a (hectic but) joyous season brings on or worsens depression.
Back in my insurance career in the 80s and early 90s, I remember seeing many cases and medical records where a person’s antidepressant medication was either switched or the dosage was upped around the holidays. Very sad indeed.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Because there are other safer answers. and the great news is, the psychiatric community is also coming around more and more and endorsing their effectiveness!
Here’s an example:
Move that depression far away from you!
A study reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry showed that when people suffering with depression who were not getting adequate results from antidepressants added regular exercise into their daily routine, they improved dramatically.
To the tune of 30 percent achieving full remission of their depression!
Plus let’s not forget the obvious here—regular exercise is also a great way to help avoid packing on the holiday pounds as well as losing excess weight or maintaining your weight 365 days a year.
That thought should brighten anyone’s mood!
Of course, exercise is a GREAT way to combat depression, but it’s not the only one.
Treatment with a skilled therapist is another. Note that just because someone has MSW, PhD or MD after their name does not make them “skilled.”
Just as in ANY profession, there are good and not-so-good therapists. If you are working with a therapist and it isn’t helping or all they want to do is push drugs at you, find another. There are a great number of therapists out there who truly care and will find a way to help you, and they deserve your business.
In addition, there are three other approaches you can take to help beat depression safely, naturally, and with no harmful side effects.
Natural depression remedy #1: Food
There is a definite connection between food and mood.
Many people who suffer from depressive disorders are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, especially B-complex vitamins, zinc and magnesium.
The typical diet most people have (lots of processed foods, fast food and refined carbohydrates) is inherently deficient in those and many other nutrients.
Plus a diet like this creates lots of acid wastes, which not only makes it harder for your body to absorb whatever nutrients you are taking in, but can also affect the health of your organs–including lowering your thyroid gland functioning–which can also bring on depression!
History has certainly helped to prove the food-mood connection. Over the last 50 years or so, our reliance on packaged and fast foods has increased dramatically. and so have reported cases of depression.
That’s no coincidence, my friend.
The great news is that increasing numbers of people are seeing a DRAMATIC improvement in their depressive symptoms once they start eating more real foods (and decreasing the acid wastes in their body).
When you make food your primary medicine, plus help your pH to be more alkaline and get the nutrients you need, your body and mind can function SO much better!
You can accomplish these important goals simply by following the guidelines in the Great Taste No Pain health system.
Great Taste No Pain is not a diet–it’s an eating lifestyle that helps you attain a healthy acid/alkaline balance and efficient digestion.
There are just a few simple meal planning principles to remember, and I explain it all in a very straight-forward manner.
Natural depression remedy #2: Vitamin D
Studies have shown that people with low vitamin D levels are FAR more prone to depression.
This is very common in the northern hemisphere, where our exposure to sunlight is greatly limited throughout the year.
And let’s not forget our recent quarantines and orders to stay indoors have most assuredly caused Vitamin D levels to plummet throughout the country!
To help ensure you have health-supporting levels of this vital nutrient 365 days a year, in addition to getting 20-30 minutes a day of unprotected sunlight exposure (when possible), it’s wise to supplement with an outstanding product like Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B.
Optimum DK Formula provides a therapeutic 5,000 IUs of vitamin D3 in each capsule, as well as vitamins K1 (500 mcg) and K2 (50 mcg), and the mineral boron.
This effective blend of super effective nutrients works synergistically to support strong mental health, as well as bone, immune and cardiovascular health too!
Natural depression remedy #3: Fish oil
The Omega-3 essential fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are critical for brain health and proper brain function. Your brain’s neurons (the cells that transmit messages) are extremely rich in these Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA.
On the other hand, deficiencies in these EFAs have been linked to schizophrenia, decreased memory and depression!
Unfortunately, in addition to our typical diets being deficient in B vitamins, zinc and magnesium (like I talked about above) they are also grossly lacking in Omega-3 essential fatty acids.
That’s why daily supplementation with Omega-3 fish oil can be so helpful to so many people.
Fish oil supplementation can give your brain a dose of the Omega-3 EFAs it so desperately needs to help maximize its functioning, help protect against dementia in your older years and help fight depression.
And our VitalMega-3 fish oil formula is the perfect answer to this very important concern!
VitalMega-3 provides an impressive 1,200 mg of Omega-3s in each daily two-capsule serving, including 600 mg. of the EPA and 400 mg. of DHA that is so highly recommended by health experts.
The holidays will soon be here–and what a difference it makes to experience the true joy of the season!
If you or someone you love suffers from depression, don’t think that dangerous SSRIs are the only answer. or that you’re destined to feel miserable over the next month and a half.
Try the safe, natural approach and see how much better you can feel, both physically AND mentally, both during this holiday season, as well as 365 days a year.
To your health and happy, depression-free holidays,
Learn why people get depressed over the holidays and how you can overcome end of the year sadness
You made it through Thanksgiving with a smile. And now comes the holiday doubleheader of Christmas and New Year’s when most everyone seems to ooze good cheer and merriment. So what do you do when the world around you is wrapped in red and green and you’re feeling blue?
First, recognize that you’re not a Scrooge and you’re most definitely not alone. The “holiday blues” are real and much more common than you think. Second, be kind to yourself. Try not to chastise yourself for what you are and what you’re not feeling. And third, take a few minutes to read about some of the major causes and best remedies for the “holiday blues.”
For people without a significant other, who don’t have family or who live far from family, the holidays can be especially tough. While longing for company, lonely people may isolate even more leaving them feeling even worse.
- Resist the temptation to hunker down. Get up and get moving even if it’s only for a series of short excursions to your favorite café or bookstore. The goal is to be around people. Having a brief conversation or simply exchanging smiles lifts your mood says Kenneth Yeager, PhD, clinical director of the Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
- Find new ways to keep yourself occupied so you don’t dwell on your aloneness. Book a tour and see the city you live in through the eyes of enthusiastic visitors suggests psychotherapist and trauma expert Ross Rosenberg of Clinical Care Consultants in Arlington Heights, IL. Just being a part of an animated group can reenergize you. Or volunteer at an animal shelter or somewhere that gets you out of your head while keeping your spirit engaged and uplifted.
- Call someone that you think might be feeling like you. “Take a chance,” says Rosenberg. You may find that person is happy to chat or share some time with you. “Let yourself feel the pleasure of connection without the fear of rejection,” Rosenberg adds.
Do you feel depressed?
Take one of our 2-minute Depression quizzes to see if you or a loved one could benefit from further diagnosis and treatment.
If you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, the idea of experiencing happiness during the holidays might make you feel guilty or disrespectful to the memory of that person.
- We all experience some degree of survivor guilt says Dr. Yeager. But it’s important to not let “expectations about how you should feel dictate how you actually feel,” he says. “Being respectful to those we’ve lost should include memories of good times together. A smile is just as loving as a tear.”
- While you shouldn’t feel guilty, it’s OK to feel sad and to acknowledge to yourself and to others that you miss your loved one.
Missing Holidays Past:
Memories and traditions are a big part of the holidays. If your current life circumstances aren’t the best, you may get stuck longing for the happier times in the past at the expense of the present.
- Create new traditions. There are no hard rules for what your holiday should look like. If you’re worried that repeating an old tradition will make you sad, reinvent it for the present. No kids at home. Make that family cookie recipe for children stuck in the hospital.
- And if it’s too difficult to stay where you are, give yourself permission to go somewhere that doesn’t hold any memories. Book a hotel in a town nearby or a city far away, plan a few activities, buy yourself a present and revel in the anonymity, suggests Rosenberg.
Ultimately, beating the holiday blues is about staying “true to who you are,” says Dr. Yeager. That may mean saying “yes” to parties and gathering, knowing that you can always leave if necessary. It means respecting your limits without succumbing to self-isolation. It means giving yourself credit for being as merry as you can.
And, above all, it means recognizing and being grateful for all the little joys and moments of happiness in your life.
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Home > Lifestyle > How to beat the holiday blues during the merry season
You would have never thought you can get depressed over the holidays, but as you’re away from your loved ones, the merry season seems the most overwhelming time of the year
December can be a challenging period for someone who’s away from their family and friends. As Christmas and New Year’s celebrations roll around, you start to feel the holiday blues affecting your daily life. You don’t understand why you experience varying degrees of sadness during the most wonderful month of the year.
It can be because you cannot go home to visit your family, or because you’re feeling isolated and lonely from your friends. Or maybe you don’t have any holiday plan to fill your free time, and you’re sick of spending your days in front of the TV. Netflix and chill can become depressing when this is all you do for months. These feelings are entirely normal and expected nowadays, especially if you’ve never been away from your family and friends during the holidays.
And while nothing can replace the warmth of your parents’ house and your friends’ joyfulness, there are a few things you can do to enjoy the merry season and beat the holiday blues.
Keep yourself occupied
The worst way to spend the winter holidays away from your loved ones is to isolate yourself at home. Sit on the couch the entire day, allow yourself to get bored with the TV series you watched over and over again, and think about how much you’d like to be somewhere else. Doing this daily for the entire December month can trigger a single result, you getting depressed.
So, what can you do instead of sitting around, feeling sad and anxious?
You can fill your days with interesting and exciting activities that keep you entertained. Having something to look forward to every week or day gives you a reason to be merry. You get the holiday blues when you’re disappointed you cannot spend time with your family and friends. Near Christmas, you look forward to a break from your normal life, get time off work or school, see everyone you may not have seen in a long time, and take part in activities that allow you to relax and enjoy yourself.
But when you’re away from your loved ones, you have the same expectations you had in the last years, only that you cannot fulfill them in the current year. That’s so crucial to plan your days to keep your mind busy and give yourself a chance to create other traditions. Which takes us to the next piece of advice
Create new traditions and celebrate with other people
Winter holidays are special because of the people you get to see and spend time with. Nothing and no one can replace spending time with your family and friends. That’s why you feel so disappointed this year you cannot travel home and eat the Christmas dinner together. But it doesn’t mean you should spend the holidays locked inside the house, away from everyone. It’s the moment to create a new family and new connections.
There are people around you who experience the same feelings, and you can celebrate the holidays together to help each other fight depression and anxiety. Instead of planning traditional activities with your family, you can try something new like hiking, attending a sports game, or going to a party.
You may not celebrate the holiday as you used to do it with your loved ones, but you can start new traditions that suit better your present lifestyle. This helps you connect with other people and bring your traditions to a new place. You can always bring a twist to old traditions and create new ones tailored to the moment.
Set realistic expectations
To prevent anxiety and holiday blues, make realistic expectations for the winter season and set achievable goals for yourself. Your holiday season doesn’t have to look like a Hallmark movie; it should be something that fits your lifestyle and needs. Free yourself from the classic ideas of what you should be doing and engage in something you would like to do.
After all, the holidays are about relaxing and spending time the way you want. If you want to stay at home and eat cookies instead of skiing in the mountains, then you shouldn’t join your friends on their trip. Or you can leave for the mountains but spend time in the cabin while they sky in the cold snow. Don’t compare your life with anyone else, and don’t allow social media to tell you how your perfect holiday season should look. If you feel your anxiety and depression prevent you from enjoying the holiday season, you can try Delta 8 Vapes from OCN, a natural product that can help you improve your mood and relax.
Facetime your friends and family
Only because you cannot meet in person doesn’t meet you cannot get in touch with your friends and family. Yes, there’s no replacement for being home during the winter season and sending time around the Christmas tree, but fortunately, technology allows you to talk face-to-face with the people you miss, even if you’re on opposite sides of the world.
Being away from home isn’t hard only for you, but also for the people who love you. They miss you as much as you miss them, and they’d be more than thrilled to connect with you, even if it’s only via FaceTime. Set up a time when they’re all together and FaceTime the entire family. Even if you can talk only for a couple of minutes, it’ll mitigate some of the homesickness you feel. You may think that video calling them can make things worse and fuel your negative feelings, but you should try to focus on the good vibes your family can transmit.
The bottom line
Being alone for the holidays isn’t easy, but you can fight the seasonal blues if you allow yourself to celebrate without your family and friends. Do you have any other tips you would like to offer?
10 Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues
Posted November 18, 2020
For many of us, the holidays will look very different this year. We may not be celebrating with family and friends. Perhaps we have lost someone dear to us and are struggling with grief. Maybe it’s just hard to feel joyous amidst so much turmoil. It is normal to experience feelings of sadness, stress and depression during this time of year. But 2020 seems to have brought that to a whole new level. If you’re struggling to find your holiday spirit, here are ten things you can do to beat those holiday blues.
- Plan Relaxation – Come up with restorative routines, such as reading a book or napping, and write them on a calendar. In between online shopping and baking, make sure these routines don’t fall by the wayside.
- Connect with Family and Friends – Even if you can’t be together in person this year, find a way to connect with your family and friends. Schedule a time to Facetime or Zoom. While you’re “together” you can bake a family favorite recipe, enjoy a cup of tea or even play an online game.
- Let Go of Perfection – Forget stressing over finding that perfect gift or making the perfect meal. Focus on thethings that make you happy, and consider traditions to help those who are less fortunate. It can make you realize how lucky you really are.
- Allow Yourself to Grieve Loss – if you’ve recently lost a loved one, the holidays can be particularly difficult. It’s not uncommon to feel angry with the situation or even guilty if you enjoy yourself during the holidays. Allow yourself those feelings – they are part of the process.
- Make Time for Sleep – Holiday activities can easily interfere with your sleep schedule. But studies have shown there is a link between sleep loss and depression, so be extra careful about cutting back on sleep just to get everything done.
- Take B Vitamins – The holidays are stressful. Stress-related fatigue is often caused by a vitamin B deficiency. To help protect yourself from the dangers of ongoing stress and the holiday blues, take a high-quality vitamin B supplement.
- Exercise – Exercise is often one of the first activities to get lost in the holiday shuffle – don’t let it. The more stress we are under, the less time we feel like we have, and the more irritated our mood, the more we need to continue exercising. Exercise has been shown to improve mood. Taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes five days per week is all you need.
- Consider Light – If you’re consistently tired, irritable, and down at this time of year, it may not be the holiday blues as much as the lack of exposure to the sun. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), can be treated by spending some daylight time in the sun – try going for a walk or look into special sun simulating lamps.
- Rethink Gifts – if the financial stress of holiday shopping is causing you to lose sleep, rethink your gifting. Homemade gifts are always appreciated and instead of buying for everyone in your family, you can suggest drawing names – which is often more fun and much more economical.
- Don’t Binge on Food and Alcohol – Overindulgence does not have to be a holiday tradition. Have one piece of pie instead of three. And don’t use alcohol as a means of dealing with depression – it can intensify your emotions and leaving you feeling even worse when the effects wear off.
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50+ Effective Ways To Beat The Holiday Blues
With the holiday season approaching, you all might be preparing yourselves to meet and greet your loved ones. However, due to the limitations of Covid-19, this year some of you might not be able to go home or celebrate with your relatives. Know that, you’re not alone; we are all in this pandemic situation together.
Additionally, as per records of the National Mental Health Association people with conflicts in personal relationships and stress due to financial limitations are the reasons behind the blues of the holiday season. Apart from this, people also experience holiday blues due to seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Dalai Lama Rightly Quoted,
“Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your actions.”
With this quote, everyone should learn to not let sadness take over. This blog consists of 50 ways to beat the holiday blues.
7 Ways to Manage the Holiday Blues:
1. Solo activities
1. Meditate or pray for everybody’s wellness.
2. Take a nap and cleanse your negative thoughts.
3. Write a small appreciation letter for yourself.
4. Practice yoga or any other kind of exercise.
5. Go healthy this holiday season.
6. Go for de-cluttering.
7. Paint your space with positive colors.
8. Reward your pet with a small gift.
9. Cook something good for yourself and set up a candle-light dinner.
10. Go for a detox bath.
2. Social connection activities
11. Video call your friends or family.
12. Go for social media detox or digital detox.
13. Read blogs of your interest on the internet.
14. Write something and post it on social media.
15. Recall memory and share it with your friends.
16. Host a zoom virtual party, play games, or watch Netflix together.
17. Send small gifts to your family members and friends.
18. Be kind to the local artists in your city and support them.
3. Nature-filled activities
19. Plan a road trip with your friends (please follow Covid-19 guidelines).
20. Enjoy a serene view in your city (please follow Covid-19 guidelines.
21. Go for ice-skiing or related activities (please follow Covid-19 guidelines).
22. Go on an unplanned trip into the woods or mountains (please follow Covid-19 guidelines).
23. Go on a solo trip (please follow Covid-19 guidelines).
4. Self-care and self-love
26. Support local artists and workers.
27. Volunteer in any program.
28. Be kind towards people.
30. Help those who are in need.
31. Gift something to the helpless.
32. Read or paste “Be Kind” quotes on your wall.
34. Read books or learn mindfulness.
35. Conduct free learning sessions for children.
36. Get hands-on with a new activity.
37. Learn something new online.
38. Work on your plans.
39. Focus on your hobbies.
40. Show your creative side and decorate your room or home.
41. Read self-help books.
7. Family activities
42. Cook something together.
43. Decorate home together.
44. Play family games.
45. Plan a movie night.
46. Watch laughter or funny videos.
47. Help each other with the chores.
48. Gift each other small gifts.
49. Plan a family trip.
50. Volunteer in any organization.
51. Listen to each other and fulfill their needs.
52. Write appreciation letters for each other.
I hope this blog helps you to beat the holiday blues with these 50+ activities. Comment down and let us know which way you are going to use to beat the holiday blues. For more such content, follow Calm Sage on all social media platforms.
Beat out stress and sadness during the holidays.
1. Be realistic.
A friend of mine says, “Reality is unavoidable.” The reality of many people’s holidays includes too much to do and not enough time, too much to purchase and not enough money, and too much to eat and not enough willpower. On the other hand, some people experience not enough family, fun, and friendship. Fighting against the reality of your life at this moment will only make you bluer. Instead, be kind to yourself, seek support, and laugh at yourself and the world every now and then.
2. Create your own traditions. As families change and grow, traditions change as well. For example, if you are a working woman who had a stay-at-home mother, instead of trying to reproduce the exact old-fashioned holiday of your childhood, do what you can do. As long as you do them with a joyful heart, the meals or decorations or celebrations you create will become your family’s cherished rituals. Or if you are divorced, be as harmonious and generous as you can with your ex. It will be the best gift you give to your kids this year. If you are single or far away from your family, invite others into your home and give the words “extended family” new meaning.
3. Help others. Not because you should, but because it is the best antidote to self-pity and seasonal sadness. Find someone who is struggling more than you are, lend them a helping hand, and remember the real meaning of the holidays.
4. Seek sacred space. Drop into a Christian church or Muslim mosque or Jewish synagogue or Hindu temple or . . . you get the idea. Sometimes just sitting in sacred space can remind you of the true meaning of the holidays. Most places of worship welcome all people, even those just looking for a touch of grace in the midst of a stressful day. Instead of hurrying by that church you have passed a hundred times on the way to work, take a moment to enter its doors and sit quietly, imbibing the atmosphere and the prayers of its members.
5. Take care of your own temple: Your body. Eat well, drink a lot of water, exercise, and then be merry. Instead of making one more feeble New Year’s resolution to join a gym or take a yoga class, do it right now. You will be amazed at how just the littlest bit of movement will lift your spirits, and how reducing the amount of junk food, sugar, and alcohol you consume will reduce your blues. And sleep-for goodness’ sake, do whatever it takes to get enough of it. Sleep deprivation is at the root of many people’s depression.
6. Be financially responsible. Don’t close your eyes the next time you use your credit card. Overspending during the holidays will not only increase your stress now, but will also leave you feeling anxious for months afterward as you struggle to pay the bills. Buck the holiday system of excessive gift-giving, and practice simplicity, creativity, and basic human kindness.
7. Breathe. Several times during your busy day, put down what you’re holding (in your hand or your head)-your shopping lists, your third cup of coffee, your date book, the phone call you should be making-and sit quietly for just 60 seconds. Take in a full breath, let it pool gently in the bottom of your lungs, and then release it slowly. Inhale deeply again, and exhale with an audible sigh. If you’re at work, don’t worry what your colleagues might think-this time of year everyone would love to sigh deeply, and often. Inhale again; exhale with a long “aaahh”. With each exhalation, let your shoulders drop and your jaw relax. Do this a couple of times, with your eyes closed. Let the “aaahh” sound emerge from your belly, move up into your heart, and drift out into space as you exhale, slowly, smoothly, steadily.
8. Grieve. If a friend or family member has recently died honor their memory. Create an altar with pictures of those you love; light candles every night for someone you have lost; play sacred music and allow yourself to cry, remember, heal.
9. Forgive. Forgiveness is the salve that heals a broken spirit. Forgive all sorts of people this holiday season-those from your past, your work, your family, and the ones in the news you love to hate. Read the stories of people (like Martin Luther King, Jr., or Pumla Gobodo Madikizela, of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee) who have used forgiveness to move mountains. If they can do it, so can we.
10. Love. everything. Love it all. From the corny Christmas music to the house guests who won’t leave. Love even the hard times; even the cranky and crooked people of the world; even yourself, with all of your imperfections.
Learn the 9 symptoms of depression and get 5 tips to beat the holiday blues
The holidays aren’t a cheerful time for everyone. Believe it or not, more people suffer from depression this time of the year than any other. Whether it’s the cold, gloomy weather, the yearning for our passed loved ones, financial stress, or family discord, it’s not always “the most wonderful time of the year.”.
How Do You Know If You Have the Holiday Blues?
Doctors in training use a mnemonic called “SIG E CAPS” to help them remember the signs and symptoms of depression and to determine if someone is clinically depressed. This doctor secret is a great way to determine if you suffer from any of the following symptoms of depression during the holidays:
S = Sleep
Do you find yourself needing to sleep more than usual during holiday time? Do you nap during the daytime when you didn’t before? Or, alternatively, do you find it difficult to fall asleep, or do you wake up during the night? Those with depression often suffer from sleeping difficulties, whether it’s more or less sleep.
I = Interest
Do you find yourself not enjoying activities you used to enjoy, like setting up the holiday decorations? Do you find pleasure in your usual hobbies? Do you lack the desire to be with others or to go out and do things (like shopping) the way you used to? People suffering from depression admit that they lack pleasure in previously enjoyable activities. The fancy doctor term for this is “anhedonia,” or the inability to feel pleasure
G = Guilt or Feelings of Worthlessness
Do you feel guilty or blame yourself for family discord arising during the holidays? Do you feel as though you have no hope? Do you feel worthless? It’s very common for those with depression to have these thoughts.
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About the Author
Dr. Sanaz Majd is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Her special interests are women’s health and patient education.