Navigating the “Holiday Blues”

The holiday seasons are mostly assumed to be joyous times to be immersed in the company of friends and family. This narrative is also reinforced by the myriad of media images depicting beautifully clad individuals bursting with excitement while shopping for gifts or hanging out with loved ones. However, when the realities around us do not look like what is being portrayed by the media, we can feel disconnected, and then comes the holiday blues, which the cold, bleak weather in the winter seasons can also exacerbate.

The reality is that the holiday period can be challenging for those who are in a hurting mode. It can be a period of intense sadness and loneliness for many. It can be a triggering factor in diverse ways for many people. For some, it’s a time of mourning over what was or should have been. For others, it’s a time of remembrance of lost family members, lost spouses, children, relationships, and jobs, which leaves them grappling with anxiety, depression, and diverse emotional turmoil in a season meant to be joyful and hopeful. That’s the holiday blues!

The good news is there are ways to mitigate the holiday blues:

  • Be you and do you. Do not let anyone’s standard for celebration be your pattern. Let the Joneses be the Joneses, and do not try to keep up with them.
  • Get comfortable with saying “no”. Do not feel obligated or compelled to say “yes” to every invite and all people. Protect your well-being.
  • Be amenable to new holiday rituals and traditions. Let go of what was in the past and welcome the new.
  • Get ample rest and exercise.
  • Engage in fun activities outdoors if possible. Don’t isolate. Do what brings smiles to your heart and face, no matter how silly it seems.
  • Consider connecting with a counselor to exhale

Stress Management Tips

Every single one of us is impacted by stress in diverse dosages and formats daily, which can have an intense effect on our psychological and physical functioning. Our stress-response system can get overwhelmed by stress, which leads to physical, psychological, and functional declines. It is simply how we respond to the pressures of life. The ordinary demands of daily living, such as traffic, cooking, grocery shopping, caring for kids, meeting deadlines, and significant life events like weddings, graduation, etc., can be sources of stress. Stress can be positive in facilitating goal achievement, but when prolonged and unmanaged, it adversely impacts our mood, relationships, and potentially our health. This is why it’s essential to have some handy stress management techniques in our toolbox, such as:

  1. Setting boundaries
  2. Learning to delegate
  3. Practicing mindfulness
  4. Being kind to yourself
  5. Taking breaks during work hours
  6. Prioritizing things that matter
  7. Making room for fun and relaxation
  8. Focusing on what you can control
  9. Not taking things too seriously.

Best of wishes to all of you as 2023 comes to a close and we anticipate the fresh beginnings of a new  year!

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*