Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. It’s the season to be jolly ‘fa la la la la, la la la la’, full of happiness, and fellowship with loved ones and friends. But for many people, the season brings the “holiday blues” which is when the anticipation and hope turns into feelings of depression. Symptoms can include headaches, insomnia, uneasiness, anxiety, sadness, intestinal problems, and unnecessary conflict with family and friends. According to Mark Sichel in an article published in Psychology Today titled “The Therapist Is In” notes “part of what happens in the holiday season, in terms of mood changes and anxiety, may occur because of the stressfulness of holiday events. Overdrinking, overeating, and fatigue may also cause it. The demands of the season are many: shopping, cooking, travel, houseguests, family reunions, office parties, more shopping and extra financial burden.” Mark Sichel offers these 10 tips for beating the holiday blues as well as ways to prevent problems and misery for yourself and your loved ones.
1. Be reasonable with your schedule. Do not overbook yourself into a state of exhaustion–this makes people cranky, irritable, and depressed.
2. Decide upon your priorities and stick to them.
4. Be careful about resentments related to holidays past. Declare an amnesty with whichever family member or friend you are feeling past resentments. Do not feel it is helpful or intimate to tell your relative every resentment on your laundry list of grievances.
5. Don’t expect the holidays to be just as they were when you were a child. They NEVER are. YOU are not the same as when you were a child, and no one else in the family is either.
6. If you are feeling under scheduled or under planned volunteer to serve holiday dinner at a homeless shelter. Work with groups that offer community service opportunities. No one can be depressed when they are doing community service.
7. Plan unstructured, low-cost fun holiday activities: window-shop and look at the holiday decorations.
8. Don’t overindulge and don’t drink. Contrary to popular opinion, alcohol is a depressant.
9. Give yourself a break; create time for yourself to do the things YOU love and need to do for your physical and mental wellness: aerobic exercise, yoga, massage, spiritual practices, taking long fast walks or any activity that calms you down and gives you a better perspective on what is important in your life.
10. Most of all, if you find yourself feeling blue just remember: The choice is always yours: The sky is partly sunny, and the glass is half full and revel in your gratitude for your bounty, health, hope, and your courage to face each day with hope and determination.
Most importantly – if you remember Jesus is the reason for the season, there will be no “holiday” blues.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
– John 3:16
Have A Blessed and Safe Holiday Season!