The holidays are an infamous time for people to experience the blues.
This is true whether you are away from home or separated from the ones you love in other ways. It can also be true when you’re way too close for comfort with all of your relatives and family.
Either way, if you are experiencing the holiday blues, there are some simple coping techniques you can use.
Applying them will certainly help you get through the holidays… and perhaps beyond.
1. Recognize What Is In and What Is Out of Your Control
This is so true for many things in life, but this outlook also helps when coping with holiday blues.
You can’t control being away from home (work, school, military deployment, etc).
Your relatives are your relatives and you can’t change them.
Holiday travel will always be a headache, nothing you can do about it.
But you can control some things about the holidays, such as your mental outlook.
Knowing what is and what isn’t in your control is actually liberating. It allows you to be able to better face the holidays and everything that is thrown your way.
2. Embrace the Experience
For some, the holiday blues are due to the craziness of the holidays, such as office parties, family events, and planning the meals. Of course, it’s tempting to just run and hide from all of it until January 2nd rolls around.
Instead of hiding, though, why not embrace the experience for what it is. Yes, it will be hectic and busy, and it can be challenging. But if you embrace it all, that will keep you from feeling overwhelmed. And that will help you to tackle the holidays head-on.
3. Make a Plan for Dealing with the Relatives
There’s always that one relative that brings down your holiday experience, or at least makes it more awkward.
If that situation is a real challenge for you and causes you a lot of stress, make a plan for dealing with the problem. For example, maybe the solution is bidding goodnight a little early before your relative has had too much food or drink.
4. Create Meaningful Connections
Despite the common belief, the holidays can be a time when people feel disconnected from one another. These feelings may be heightened if you are separated from family or have no one to spend time with during the holidays. For others, it’s the consumer culture that brings them down.
You can fight back by purposely seeking out meaningful connections with other people. Consider clubs or groups you already belong to. Or host your own holiday get-together.
5. Volunteer Your Time
Volunteering is another way to create meaningful connections and experiences during the holidays. Plus, there’s always a need for people to help serve others during this time.
Consider what options are available in your community. That could include working at a food pantry or soup kitchen. Or perhaps volunteering with a youth group. Not only will you feel good serving others, but you may also surprise yourself by forming new friendships and community during the holidays.
6. Don’t Forget to Exercise
Exercising is a great way to stave off the holiday blues. Working out is proven to boost mental health. Considering that the holidays also coincide with the shortest days of the year, usually bring cold weather, and involve eating lots of calories, you can see why exercising is important.
Try to get out and spend time in nature combined with exercising. This could be as simple as hiking or snow-shoeing and skiing. Of course, if you are lucky enough to live where it’s warm and there’s a beach, there’s always swimming and surfing!
The holiday blues can be different for people for many reasons. Whether it’s being alone to having an obnoxious family to being overwhelmed by stress and anxiety. All contribute to a negative holiday experience.
However, by following the above-mentioned tips, you can make the holidays at least more bearable and perhaps even fun!
If you’d like extra support during this holiday season working with a therapist who specializes in depression and/or grief and loss issues can help. We offer a complimentary 20 minute phone consultation or to schedule an appointment today please contact us at (623) 680-3486 or text 623 688-5115 .