The Holiday Blues

Protect your mental health this holiday season

Although the holidays are said to be full of joy and cheer, many people may find the demands of the holiday season can leave them feeling sad, lonely, exhausted, stressed, and even depressed.

These feelings of the “Winter Blues” or “Holiday Blues” can vary and may come and go over the holiday season.

What causes the Holiday Blues?

Causes of the Holiday Blues include:

  • Changes or disruptions to our sleep schedules

  • Changes to our routines

  • Conflicts with family members

  • Financial stresses

  • Unrealistic expectations for the “perfect holiday”

  • Increased substance use during festivities

The overwhelming and stressful nature of the holidays can all contribute to feelings of sadness and depression in everyone.

The Winter Blues and Mental Illness

Those with previously diagnosed mental health conditions may see an increase in symptoms during the holiday season and those without a condition may se their mental health decrease.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) suggests that 64% of people with mental illness see their symptoms affected by the holidays.

Tips for Coping with the Holiday Blues

Try Not to Isolate Yourself

Look for ways to increase your social connections. Check in on friends or spend time with loved ones. Volunteering in the community can always be a rewarding way to gain community connections during the holidays.

Get Out For a Walk

Making some time for a short walk, alone or with friends, could relieve some of the feelings you are experiencing. Make sure the bundle up!

Practice Holiday Boundaries

There are many demands around the holidays that include time, money, and attention. Learning to set a budget or say ‘no’ can help us avoid feeling overwhelmed or overcommitted by holiday expectations.

Find Time for Yourself

Spending time alone reading, writing, listening to music, or watching television. Even a small, 15 minute break from a big event can help us reset.

Set Realistic Expectations About the Holidays

For those celebrating this year, remind yourself that the holidays don’t have to be as perfect as they look in the movies. Try to focus on enjoying this year’s festivities the way they are for you.

Reach Out for Help

Prioritize your mental health by reaching out for professional support.

Follow the link below to learn more!