Top Tips for Beating the Holiday Blahs

The holiday season can have so many meanings. For some, it means parties, shopping, cooking and entertaining. To others, it can mean being away from families due to having no money to travel home or being reminded that you have no family. Some may not have the money this year to buy gifts – all of which can lead to the Holiday Blahs.

What can cause our holiday blahs?

  1. Stress (financial, personal, job or lack of a job, etc…)
  2. Depression (seasonal, loss of health, death of a loved one, etc…)
  3. Fatigue (lack of sleep due to all the planning for the holidays, menus, etc…)
  4. Not being able to be with family and friends
  5. Too many commitments for the holidays (work, home, family and friends)
  6.  Unrealistic expectations (for how everything is supposed to be scheduled, parties, etc.)

All of the above, especially stress and depression, cannot only hurt your health; they can also ruin your holidays.

Here are some tips and ideas to help you prevent the holiday blahs:

  1.  Acknowledge how you really feel about the holidays. If you do not feel happy, it is okay to have your own feelings. Don’t fight it. For example, if there has been a death in your family or inner circle or if you are experiencing a temporary financial crisis that has made it impossible for you to travel to your family or friends, acknowledge your sadness and express your feelings.
  2. Make sure to reach out to your friends, families, religious or other organizations (medical or psychological). If you feel lonely, perhaps you can look into a local community group activity or volunteer at a local homeless shelter, dog shelter, or at another organization that resonates with you. Reach out and make new friends.
  3. Realize that the holidays are about being with others. It is not how perfect the meal is or how organized your house is. The priority is to plan ahead for how you want to have fun with your family and friends.
  4. Set aside any differences or grievances you have within family and friends relationships. Do your best to accept everyone as they are; do not impose on them who you want them to be.
  5. Remember healthy eating habits. You do not have to overindulge just because it is the holidays.  Don’t go overboard with sweets, alcohol, or foods. For example, prior to going to a party, eat a healthy snack so you are not that hungry.
  6. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. If your family is at home with you, ask them to go out for a walk if the weather is good.
  7. Remember to take a time out for you to refresh your mind and body. Listen to soothing music. Learn to say “no” when you begin to feel overwhelmed.
  8. If you are beginning to feel overwhelmed or the blahs start to take over, seek out professional help if needed (i.e.; doctor, clergy, mental health professionals or another person you trust and feel comfortable talking to).
  9. If you are alone and/or unable to travel and your family is far away, consider using Skype through the Internet. It is free and you can see and connect with one another across the miles for as long as you want to.
  10. Remember to use all five of your senses (smell, visual, taste, hearing and feeling) to get you in the mood for the holidays. (Burn a candle with the aroma of pumpkin or Christmas; hang an ornament that represents the holiday; bake pumpkin bread; or put up a wreath for the holiday).
  11. Learn to recognize your past year’s holiday triggers in order to circumvent them prior to this year’s holiday season with plans and forethought, so you can create new happy memories this coming year.

Hopefully these ideas and tips will help you rethink how you make plans for this year, especially if you are finding yourself with the holiday blahs.

The choice is always yours as to whether you want to change your perception or vision of the holidays. You can choose the path of darkness and gloom and never try anything new, OR you can try to see and experience this time of year with gratitude for what you do have. You have the option to choose to change how you want to spend the holidays with your family and friends in order for you to find the peace and joy in your own holiday season and celebrations.

I know for some this may be difficult. If you take the time to see how invaluable you are at this very moment, whether it is to a stranger or to your own family and friends, you will hopefully see that you and your attempts to celebrate will be such a beautiful gift to all of us.

Wishing all of you peace and joy and that each of you experiences a wonderful holiday season.

Dr. Christina

  • Posted By: DRC Editor
  • Tags: Christina Charbonneau Christina Goldstein-Charbonneau depressed in holidays difficult season Dr Christina Charbonneau Dr. Christina Dr. Christina Goldstein-Charbonneau holiday blahs holiday depression holiday survival guide holidays holidays are lonely lonely in holidays no family in holidays survive holidays tips for holidays
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