If it’s the most wonderful time of the year, why do some of us suffer from the holiday blues? There is so much pressure to be having an amazing time over the holiday season, to emulate what we see in Christmas films and the colorful pages of magazines, it’s no wonder that it can fall flat for some of us.
Why do we feel low over the holidays?
There is so much going on at this time of year, from end-of-year deadlines to the financial strain of the holidays, that it can really pile the pressure on. Spending time with family isn’t always as merry and bright as it should be for some of us, and Christmas time can remind us of any loss that we have suffered during the year. Add to this the dark days, cold weather and bad drinking and eating habits, plus the pressure to be having the best time ever, and you could have a recipe for a pretty difficult time. So how can you combat this?
Try not to do too much
It can be so tempting to squeeze everything into the holiday season; to keep up with the Jones’, but this can cause unnecessary anxiety and stress. It’s also hard to enjoy the moment if you are already thinking about the next activity and you could end up a little burnt out. The holidays are time for recharging and relaxing too, so don’t pile on the pressure, only do the things that will bring you joy – not just likes on Instagram.
Set realistic expectations
As much as you might like a Pinterest-worthy, holiday movie celebration, you are likely to be disappointed. We are swayed by TV specials and unrealistic social media posts and so the holidays never seem to live up to our expectations – even if it’s wonderful, we don’t see it as quite enough. Try to set realistic expectations and be grateful for what you have (for example, some time off work, yay!) and suddenly those stressful family gatherings won’t seem so bad.
Don’t forget self-care
Self-care is as important, if not more so, during the holidays than at any time of the year, but so many of us let it slip. We’re going from party to meet-up, cramming in shopping and cooking, and forgetting all the things that usually keep us well; such as eating healthily, exercising and taking time alone. Overeating and binge drinking can worsen any anxiety or depression symptoms that you may be experiencing, as much as we like to think that it makes us happier, so keep an eye on your intake. Make a conscious effort to look after yourself during the holiday season and watch your mood improve.
Remember that everything passes, and if you do suffer from holiday blues, the festivities will end you can hopefully enjoy the promise of a new year. If you are really suffering, don’t be afraid to see your doctor, as you are not alone. We hope that you have a very happy holiday season!