The holiday season is always portrayed as a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. But, for many people, it can also be a time of stress, loneliness, and sadness. If you find yourself feeling down during the holidays, then you are not the one. There are a few ways to beat the holiday blues and make this season more exciting.
Before getting to know the tips, shall we start with comparison between holiday blues and clinical depression,
How Can I Distinguish Between Holiday Blues and Clinical Depression?
The holiday blues refer to the feeling of sadness and loneliness that lasts throughout the holiday season. Holidays are often a time of high emotion, which leave most people feeling stressed and exhausted. According to the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), 64% of people with a prior mental health condition report that the holidays make their condition worse.
Clinical depression is a mental health condition that causes a persistently low or depressed mood and also loss of interest in some activities that once bring joy. This condition also affects sleep, and your ability to think clearly. It varies in severity ranging from mild and moderate to severe forms of depression. It is sometimes referred to as major depressive disorder, major depression, unipolar depression and chronic depression.
What Causes Holiday Blues?
There are a number of reasons for experiencing holiday depression. But let me explain to you some of the major causes. It includes,
Lack of Sleep
It’s common to take vacation time, attending parties that last late into the night during the holiday season. So, a hectic holiday schedule will lead to a lack of sleep, which increases stress, depression, and anxiety.
Excess Eating and Drinking Alcohol
Parties and social gatherings are more frequent during the holiday season. Unfortunately, people sometimes drink and eat excessively unhealthy items to handle holiday sadness and stress. Hence, excessive eating and consumption of alcohol will increase the symptoms of holiday depression.
Most people plan their expenditures, they often tend to go over budget and struggle to afford gifts for family or friends especially during the holiday season. Happens, right? Hence, the extreme financial stress that leads to the development of the holiday blues.
Loneliness and Isolation
Not spending holidays, spending less time with friends or family, and spending more time with depressed people will make the season more lonely and depressing.
Now, it’s time to know the steps to overcome the holiday blues. Here are the top 5 ways to beat your holiday blues,
Tips to Beat the Post Holiday Blues
- Reach Out to Loved Ones
The first and foremost effective way to combat holiday blues is by reaching out to your loved ones. I hope it might be a better idea! Whoever it might be, it may be your family, friends, or even neighbors, connecting and sharing your feelings with someone who cares can make a world of difference and provide a sense of belonging and support.
Just try and feel the change!
- Practice Self-care
Taking care of yourself is crucial in beating the holiday blues. Always make sure to prioritize your self-care activities, such as exercise, meditation, or involving yourself in a hobby you love and enjoy. Thus, spending time for yourself not only boosts your mood but also helps you recharge and face the holiday season with a renewed sense of energy.
- Create New Traditions
Sometimes, the holiday season is a time for some rituals and traditions. Most traditions bring back nostalgic memories. In such cases, creating new traditions is a powerful way to beat the holiday blues. Thinking about how to create some traditions? Consider trying out some new activities, exploring different cuisines, or volunteering for a cause you care about.
By embracing change and making new memories, you can shift your focus from what is missing to what is possible!
- Set Realistic Expectations
Unrealistic expectations can often lead to disappointment and feelings of sadness during the holidays. Most of them are experiencing it, right? Instead of striving for perfection, set realistic expectations for yourself and others.
Embrace imperfections, just go with the flow, and only focus on the moments of joy and gratitude that arise naturally!
- Listen to Music
Just make a playlist of your favorite songs and listen to them daily. Listening to music during the holidays will make you get rid of the holiday blues, and that will make you remember some of the happiest moments.
To know the ways to keep your family happy this season, read this blog.
Are There Community Resources Available for Those Experiencing Holiday Blues?
If you feel depressed, just make an appointment to see the mental healthcare professionals or call warmlines. A warm line is a free, confidential service offering mental health support. Warmlines are staffed by volunteers or paid peers—a person who has experience with mental health disorders. People can call if they need someone to talk to or just be there. Callers will receive support when they need it without the need to travel.
What if Holiday Blues Persist Beyond the Season?
If these holiday blues extend beyond the holiday season or if these feelings recur each season (instead of experiencing one-time symptoms), then it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
The holiday blues are a common experience, but they don’t have to define your holiday season. You can beat the holiday blues and make this season a time of joy, connection, and personal growth by above mentioned tips. Now, you have the power to shape your holiday experience and create long-lasting memories.