Avoid the Holiday Blues

The holiday season is a time full of joy, cheer, parties, and family gatherings. However, for many people, it is a time of self-evaluation, loneliness, reflection on past failures, and anxiety about an uncertain future.

What Causes Holiday Blues?

Many factors can cause the “holiday blues” - stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, over-commercialization, financial constraints, and the inability to be with one’s family and friends. The demands of shopping, parties, family reunions, and house guests also contribute to feelings of tension. People who do not become depressed may develop other stress responses, e.g., headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating, and difficulty sleeping. Even more people experience post-holiday let down after January 1st. This can result from disappointments during the preceding months compounded with excess fatigue and stress.

Eliminate the Blues This Year:

Keep expectations for the holiday season manageable. Try to set realistic goals. Organize your time and prioritize the important activities. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Do not put your entire focus on just one day (i.e., Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day).  Remember, it is a season of holiday sentiment and activities can be spread out to lessen stress and increase enjoyment.

Remember, the holiday season does not banish reasons for feeling sad or lonely.  There is room for these feelings to be present, even if the person chooses not to express them.

Leave “yesteryear” in the past, and look toward the future. Life brings changes. Each season is different and can be enjoyed in its’ own way. Don’t set yourself up for comparing today with the “good ol’ days.”

Do something for someone else. Try volunteering some time to help others.

Spend time with supportive and caring people. Reach out and make new friends, or contact someone you have not heard from for awhile.

Save time for yourself! Recharge your batteries!  Let others share in the responsibility for the holiday activities.

HealthQuest EAP can be a resource. The HealthQuest EAP is available 24/7 and understands the extraordinary stresses that sometimes go along with the holiday season.  Call confidentially at 1-888-275-1205, option 7.