Therapist Anastasia Pollock talks us through the holiday blues and how to beat them. For more information, go here.
What are the holiday blues?
There is a misconception that this is the happiest time of year for all of us. Although that is true for many, some find that this is the most difficult time of year.
When a person has holiday blues, they experience feeling down, depressed, or having a low mood during the holiday season.
Why do people experience the holiday blues?
Some people find they are more depressed around the holidays for various reasons including:
Holiday stress and expectation
Reminders of loved ones who have passed away
Reminders of bad memories associated with the holidays
Anticipation of upcoming stresses (such as taxes) that usually hit after the holidays
Feeling as though one cannot live up to the expectation of others
Talk about how you are feeling
It’s okay to not enjoy the holidays. Sometimes people feel as though there is something wrong with them because they are not enjoying the holiday season as much as those around them.
Talking to a trusted person about why you are feeling down is a powerful way to give yourself a voice and this can also help you to find some relief as keeping it in makes depression worse.
Make new memories that are not holiday related
Find an activity that is enjoyable and not holiday related. For some, this is good time of year to plan a trip, a spa day, or to do something you have always wanted to do and have been putting off.
Family get togethers do not have to be centered around or about holidays.
Doing this will help to make new, positive associations with this time of year.
Take the stress off
If stress is contributing to holiday blues, make agreements with loved ones that you won’t worry about gifts and will instead enjoy time with each other.
Make expectations for yourself realistic and give yourself a break.