Have you ever heard of the Holiday Blues? Apparently holiday blues can be caused by financial pressure and unrealistic expectations (among other things). In case you’re feeling down this season, here are ten tips for managing holiday anxiety and depression.
When its cold every day and gets dark early, it’s easy to feel depressed even if there is nothing to be depressed about. Add in the holiday season’s high emotions and you may find yourself with a case of the Holiday Blues. The Holiday Blues are not a recognized psychiatric condition. However, it is a feeling caused by financial pressure, unrealistic expectations, overeating/over-drinking, etc during the holiday season.
I find the best way to avoid sneaky anxiety and depression is to be on high alert of your personal mental health and wellness. I have already been talking to my personal therapist in preparation of managing my anxiety during the holiday season. The following tips may be helpful, but they are only suggestions and not certified medical treatment/advice.
Note: If you are feeling sad or anxious, or already suffer from anxiety or depression, consult your physician or a mental health professional as soon as possible.
Here are some of the best ways to manage anxiety and depression during the holiday season.
If you’re fearful of holiday anxiety and depression or feeling the holiday blues, here are some tips from my therapist for managing your mental health.
- There’s no such thing as a perfect holiday. Let go of unrealistic expectations for your celebrations and know that some things won’t go as planned.
- Then…Embrace the Imperfections and Welcome Simplicity. Let others know your new motto so they don’t expect anything more.
- Set personal boundaries. You don’t have to do and see and visit it all – it’s always OK to say NO.
- Celebrate in moderation. While we all want to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, there is a limit as to how much food and alcohol one can consume. Be aware of how much you’re eating and drinking during the holiday season! Excessive eating and drinking alcohol can cause insomnia, illness, anxiety and depression.
- Be happy with what you have – and stop looking at other’s parties, decorations, gifts, etc. Bigger isn’t always better!
- Not everyone wants a present – maybe they just prefer for YOU TO BE PRESENT during the holiday season. So put your phone down and pay attention to the ones you love.
- Write down 5 things that bring you joy and carry the list in your pocket. When you start to feel sad or overwhelmed, read it aloud to yourself.
- Stick to your daily routine. If you enjoy an evening walk or reading before bed, don’t let holiday chaos stop you from doing what you like to do.
- Ask for support! Whether it’s help doing the shopping/cleaning/cooking or just a hug when times feel tough, reach out to someone for their help.
- If you’re starting to feel low, get moving! The worst thing you can do is crawl in bed when you start to feel anxious or depressed. Head outdoors to move your body or put on happy music and dance!
I always feel a little overwhelmed when people take down their Christmas decorations the day after Christmas. Don’t let society make you feel one way or another either! If you want to celebrate the holidays well after December 26th, just do it!
Everyone feels a little bit of anxiety during the holidays, but no one should let it crush their holiday spirit. If you’re feeling down, tell a loved one and don’t hesitate to contact a mental health professional. Wishing you an abundance of joy, peace, and fulfillment.