For most people, this time of year is filled with happiness and good cheer. However, many individuals dread the coming of the holiday season and the sadness that it brings. What causes the holiday blues and what can we do to help alleviate the sadness that overcomes us?
- High Expectations Don’t worry about having a perfect party or family get-together. Instead try to maintain realistic expectations and have a good time.
- Overdoing it Trying to attend every party and get-together will only make you tired and feeling worn-out. Try to stick to your usual routine, including meals, exercise and sleeping habits. Try to avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can depress moods.
- Spending too Much We all want to please others and buy that perfect gift, but paying the bill in January can be stressful. Make a budget for gifts and stick to it!
- Unpleasant Holiday Memories Try not to think of holidays that were sad and lonely. Create pleasant memories by starting a new tradition.
- Being Single, Alone or Divorced Call a friend and make plans to get together over the holidays. Invite them to lunch, an uplifting holiday movie, or a walk around town to view the holiday decorations.
- Emphasis on Shopping and Commercialization Consider giving a donation to a charity in lieu of a gift that the recipient won’t use.
If you find yourself feeling down any time of year, make a list of the good things you have in your life. Another way to feel better about yourself is to volunteer your time to help someone less fortunate than you.
Finally, we all feel down sometimes but if the “blues” last longer than a few weeks, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or seek professional help.
Submitted by: Jennifer Even, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Hamilton County. Source: Judith S. Beck, PhD, Huffington Post, Avoid the Holiday Blues.