Managing the Holiday Blues

The holiday colors might be red and green, but the holiday blues are a serious matter.

Many people feel lonely or depressed during the holiday season. Financial strain, family drama, and social obligations can make you feel less than merry during this time of year.

What are the holiday blues?
The weeks and months surrounding the winter holidays can lead to feelings of sadness and depression due to inflated expectations. The reality is not always the way you expected things to go. Add in the stress of finding the perfect gifts and attending every event and you could potentially experience the holiday blues.

Chase Away the Holiday Blues

  • Healthy eating, regular exercise, and enough sleep will keep you feeling fit and help fight off negative thoughts and feelings.
  • Don’t compare your holiday to those you see romanticized in the media.
  • Focus on the loved ones around you and make special memories with them.
  • Moderation is key; don’t drink excessive alcohol, eat too much, or go on a spending spree. Those things will only make you feel worse.
  • Set realistic goals including a budget so you can feel good when you accomplish your tasks and stick to your plan.
  • Help those less fortunate to get a feel-good boost. Volunteer at a local shelter, soup kitchen, or hospital to help make the holiday happy for those in need.
  • Do things you love and enjoy, even if they aren’t “holiday” activities.
  • Reach out to someone you haven’t heard from in a while to make a social connection.
  • Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Instead, appreciate what you do have and remind yourself often.
  • Remember the feelings are normal and will pass.
  • Get professional help if your holiday blues become severe or persistent.

Learn more about depression and seasonal affective disorder in our online health library. If your holiday doesn’t seem filled with cheer, know that you are not alone. If you have any health questions or would like to find a physician, please call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5119.

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