The Holiday Blues Series: 4 Ways Avoid Holiday Depression

At approximately 3 pm on Thanksgiving Day, it seems as if the holiday season swings into high gear.

Before you know it, seasonal decorations are up everywhere and holiday sales — too good to pass up –can be found at every turn!

When the calendar turns and December is upon us, many people feel overwhelmed with the holiday season and don’t enjoy it as much as they should. Family and work functions as well as financial stress are some of the most commonly reported stressors during the holiday season.

While we can’t avoid all stress, the following four tips can help you reduce pressures, avoid the blues, and maybe even enjoy yourself this season!

(1) Have a Plan!

  • What do you want to experience during the holidays?
  • How do you want to feel?
  • Who do you want to see?

These three questions should be the foundation of your planning. Holidays are for spending time with the people we appreciate and love, make it a point to see them.

With Christmas only a week or so away, there is still time to decide on how you want to spend the remaining days of the season. It isn’t too late!

(2) Be realistic — and selective.

As December 25th nears, there will be more social functions and mandatory holiday parties at work. These can be draining especially since most of them occur in the evenings after a full day of work. To avoid spreading yourself too thinly, identify which events you WANT to go to and the events you HAVE to go to. If there are any events that do not fall into either category, don’t go!

Another important point is, you need to have realistic expectations. As we grow older, the holidays are what we make them. Don’t burn yourself out going to function you don’t need to be at or around people you don’t necessarily enjoy.

(3) Don’t forget to rest!

Remember that the holidays are meant to be enjoyed.

It’s hard to enjoy things when you are tired or stressed the majority of the time so be sure to make the time to rest. Sleep, relaxing at home, and spending time to reflect are fantastic ways to recover from a busy year and the hectic holiday schedule.

(4) Remember to pace yourself.

Do what you feel you would enjoy most. You have the rest of the year to work and worry. Make sure you take this time to sit back, recover, and be around the ones you love.

These are just some of the many ways you can work towards avoiding the holiday blues this season.

Have questions or concerns about depression? Need support?

Please contact our counseling team to get help and support for your depression, sadness, or grief.

Photo credit: Mayra Ruiz-McPherson via ruizmcpherson