Many people see the holidays as a time of happiness, rejoicing, and celebration. However, for
some, the holiday season may be a period of loneliness, sadness, anxiety, or even depression.
This state is more commonly known as the holiday blues.
Why Does Someone Experience Holiday Blues?
There are several reasons why some people experience holiday blues. Some of the causes may
include the following:
The holiday season is usually the time when people spend more money on gifts, dinners,
and parties. Struggling to afford these occasions or overextending your finances can
create stress and lead to holiday blues.
In some industries, the holiday season is the peak season for business, which means that
some employees or business owners likely experience a more hectic schedule. A busy
schedule can then lead to sleep deprivation, causing holiday blues.
Loneliness And Isolation
For people who are working or living overseas, they may not be able to celebrate the
holidays with friends loved ones, and family, leading to holiday blues.
There are several ways for some people to set unrealistic expectations for themselves or
the season. For instance, pressuring yourself to buy gifts for everyone, forcing you to host
huge parties for all your social groups, or saying yes to every invitation or favor can lead
to mental exhaustion, stress, and holiday blues.
Besides these possible causes, people with prior mental health issues are also more prone to
experiencing holiday blues.
How Do You Cope With Holiday Blues?
Thankfully, there are a few ways and tips you can do to help you cope and get through the
holiday blues. Read on to learn how.
1. Learn To Say ‘No’
One of the main tips from alifeinprogress and other mental health blogs is learning to say ‘no.’
Letting yourself do things beyond your time or capability can lead to burnout and, eventually,
holiday blues. Thus, to avoid experiencing holiday blues, it’s essential that you practice and learn
to decline certain things that do not contribute to your well-being.
For example, suppose your friends or relatives are demanding you host a holiday party.
However, your budget is only enough for a small gathering or intimate holiday dinner with your
family and kids. Instead of trying to please the demands of others, consider your needs first and
tell them ‘no.’ Otherwise, saying ‘yes’ and forcing yourself to accomplish things beyond your
time, finances, or capability will only cause unnecessary stress, exhaustion, and holiday blues.
2. Find Healthy Ways To Release Painful Or Mourning Emotions
Perhaps it’s your first time spending the holiday season alone after going through a painful
breakup, divorce, or losing a loved one. Instead of letting the holiday blues get the best of you
and resort to harmful ways to mask the agony, you may find healthier ways to release and let go
of those painful emotions.
You may talk to a therapist and share your emotions with them. If you have a close friend that
you can trust and talk to, you may confide whatever you’re going through with them over lunch
or dinner. You can also write down all your thoughts and emotions in a journal or find other
creative ways to express them, such as painting, writing music, or dancing. Being able to express
and release these painful emotions can help keep your holiday blues at bay.
3. Get Enough Hours Of Sleep
As mentioned earlier, sleep deprivation is one of the possible causes of holiday blues. Even with
your work responsibilities, household chores, holiday-related arrangements, and obligations,
make sure to go to bed at the same time each night and get enough sleep. When well-rested,
you’ll have better moods and be more energetic to take on the next day without any holiday
4. Take A Break From Digital Screens
As much as watching holiday movies and short films on the internet can make you feel good,
these things might only set unrealistic expectations about how this season should feel for
everyone. Thus, you may end up feeling disappointed because your reality doesn’t match the
lives you see on your digital screens.
To avoid it, take a break from your digital screens and set realistic
expectations. Doing this also helps prevent you from comparing your life to how other people
spend their holiday season.
5. Start A New Tradition
As you grow, you can expect some traditions to change, especially your holiday traditions.
Pressuring yourself to maintain the same old traditions can lead to disappointments and potential
holiday blues. Instead of forcing yourself to stick to them, why not take this opportunity to
explore and start a new tradition?
For instance, if you can’t be with your family for the holidays for a traditional holiday dinner,
you can meet virtually or find new ways to be together. You can meet during New Year’s or
travel to a new spot that none of you have gone to. Modifying traditions can be your opportunity
to learn to accept life changes.
The holiday blues may turn the holiday season into a time of sadness and despair. Fortunately,
there are things you can try to cope with and get through. A great way to start is to identify the root
cause of your holiday blues. Once you’ve figured it out, you can try these tips to help you handle
the holiday blues before it affects your life. If the symptoms persist, don’t hesitate to consult
a doctor for professional advice.