What Are the Holiday Blues?

The holiday blues is a term that refers to the feeling of sadness or depression that can occur during the winter holidays. This feeling usually occurs as a result of loneliness and fatigue. The good news is that there are ways to cope with this feeling, so you don't have to struggle with it each holiday season. In this article, we will discuss what the holiday blues are and how to deal with them so you can enjoy your time with family and friends.


What Causes the Holiday Blues?


There are many causes for the holiday blues. Some people might feel lonely, not have family or friends to spend time with during this season and even have financial problems. Another cause of these feelings is too much family pressure about who should visit whom and when they can see each other.

Common causes of the holiday blues include:


Feeling Lonely

Spending time alone can make anyone feel down. Don't hesitate to reach out to your family and friends, so you don't spend the holidays all by yourself.


Feeling Tired

If you are still working or in college, it's possible that you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything going on during this season. Make sure not to skip meals and check out these eight tips for getting better sleep so these feelings of fatigue won't affect your mood while spending time with family and friends.


Financial Problems

Financial problems are another common cause of holiday blues since some people have already spent too much money shopping for gifts before realizing they went over their limit. You should always plan when buying presents for everyone to avoid financial issues later on because only then will you know how much you can spend on each person.


Being Away From Loved Ones

If you live far away from your family and friends, the holiday blues might come due to not spending time with them. Make sure to call or visit people when possible so these feelings won't bother you during this season.


Reflecting on the Past Year and Realizing That You Did Not Achieve All of Your Goals

Although it's normal to think about the past during this season, make sure not to dwell on negative things. Try focusing more on what you have achieved throughout last year instead of thinking how much you didn't accomplish and that will help you feel better during this holiday time.


Symptoms of the Holiday Blues


There are a few common symptoms of the holiday blues. These include:

• Irritability

• Fatigue

• Distraction or difficulty concentrating on tasks

• Sleeping more than usual

• Feeling sad, lonely, or unworthy.

• Feeling homesick for people who are not around you anymore.

• If you find yourself regretting things in your life, this might indicate that these feelings are starting to take over.


How to Prevent and Combat the Holiday Blues


There are several ways you can help cope with these feelings and prevent them from happening. The first thing you can do is talk about your feelings with a close friend or family member. Sometimes it might seem easier to keep these feelings inside of you, and that way, no one will know how sad they make you feel, but in fact, talking about them is the best thing for yourself and those around you.


Other ways to avoid or decrease these feelings of sadness include:


Start a New Hobby

Starting a new hobby will give you something to look forward to and keep your mind busy, so it doesn't have time to think about all of the negative things in life.


Take a Break from Social Media

Take some days off Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram so you can focus on what is happening around you instead of feeling bad because you're comparing your life with others.


Spend Time With Family and Friends

Spending time with family and friends is a great way to feel better about yourself because you will be surrounded by people who love and care about you.


Exercise Regularly

Try going for a run or do some yoga. Activities like an indoor cardio circuit to do at home can improve your mood in almost no time.


Maintain a Healthy Diet

Eat healthy food like fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants that help fight stress and anxiety. Doing so will also help give your immune system strength, so it doesn't have to work harder than needed to prevent sicknesses from popping up at the wrong times. Be sure to check out this list of the healthiest fall foods for eating in season the next time you go grocery shopping.


Say Positive Things Out Loud

Talk positively about yourself and the choices you've made in life; remember what good qualities make you unique. Also, avoid negative self-talk as much as you can.


Meditate

Meditate your way to better health. Meditation is a great way to calm down and take some time out of your day for yourself so that stress does not build up over the season.


Volunteer at Your Local Community Center

Help those who are less fortunate. At the same time, you will feel good about yourself and not focus on problems that only bring negative feelings.


Maintain a Healthy Sleeping Schedule

Get better sleep to maintain mental health. It is best to try going to bed earlier during this busy season, so you don't have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep due to stress.


Read a Book

The mental health benefits of reading are plenty. Reading is a great way to put your mind on something else for a while and let yourself explore new stories, places, and people.


Listen to Music

Listening to the right songs can make you feel better instantly.


Talk About Your Feelings With a Family Member or Friend

By talking about it with someone close, like a friend or family member. Expressing yourself to others can make you feel less alone and increase trust between you two, which will help in many other aspects of your relationship.


Journal

Write down all the things you are grateful for today on small pieces of paper (or even sticky notes) and put them somewhere visible where they will catch your eye throughout the day. Small reminders help maintain your mood throughout the day.


The Best Way to Support Someone You Know Who Is Struggling With the Holidays


If you know someone struggling with these feelings of sadness during the holidays, there are many ways to help them.

Some ways to help those struggling with the holiday blues are:

• If they want to talk about what happened in the past, make sure to lend an ear and be there for them.

• Listening actively without offering advice right away or judging their emotions is also extremely important. Listening will show that you are listening and help build trust, which will probably lead to a closer relationship overall.

• Another way of helping would be by organizing activities such as going on small road trips or spending time with family members so that your friend does not feel alone during this period. Doing things together can significantly decrease feelings of loneliness due to these circumstances.

• Offering to help them decorate their house or apartment/room

• Making them a festive meal that they can share with others if they are not in the mood for cooking themselves.

• Setting up drinks dates during happy hour so that both of you can go out together and enjoy each other's company while having fun over some appetizers, even if there are no big plans afterward.


Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash