How to Fight the Holiday Blues

For most, the holiday season is a great time of year spent celebrating with family and friends, but others may feel overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, anxiety and dread.

If you find yourself experiencing fear and depression around the holiday season, you are not alone. In fact, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, 64% of individuals with anxiety and depression report that their conditions worsen during the holidays.

What are the Holiday Blues?

If you are experiencing the holiday blues, you will have temporary feelings of anxiety and depression during the holidays. These feelings can be exasperated during the holidays with the added stress of planning and hosting family gatherings, remembering unpleasant memories or experiencing loss. Some of the emotions that may be heightened if you are experiencing the holiday blues are:

● Loneliness

● Sadness

● Frustration

● Self-isolation

● Defeat 

● Fatigue

● Tension

Understanding the Holiday Blues

The main difference between the holiday blues and clinical depression is that they are temporary feelings. Understanding that many other individuals go through these seasonal feelings can help to work through and manage your symptoms. Here are some things you can do to fight the feelings that accompany the holiday blues:

1. Make a to-do list. A way to feel less overwhelmed is to list things that you need to accomplish and cross them off as you complete your tasks. Try to keep this simple.

2. Set a holiday budget. Finances are the most common thing to cause anxiety during the holiday season. Set a reasonable budget for yourself to follow so that you don’t overextend yourself financially.

3. Prioritize your routine. We know the holidays are full of gatherings and activities, but it is essential to stick to your routine as much as possible. You must get enough sleep, especially if you are feeling anxious.

4. Find ways to relax. During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, make sure you are finding time to wind down and relax your body and mind. Remember, the holiday season is a time to be surrounded by those you love the most.

If you feel overwhelmed, find someone to share those thoughts and feelings with. This season is temporary, so take it day by day, and don’t hesitate to seek help if you feel you need it.