Are you struggling through how to deal with the holiday blues? It can be really tough when you’re feeling sad during times that are supposed to be happy. Situations like that can feel doubly sad because of this irony.
While you likely won’t be able to banish your initial feelings of holiday sadness, there are some things you can do if they show up uninvited this year. Here are just a few of many possible ideas of how to deal with the holiday blues.
Continue Connecting Deeply with People
For many during the holidays, finding people to be around is pretty easy. The challenge is connecting deeply with others.
The holidays can be busy and frazzled. You’re rushing off to family gatherings, possibly faith-based get-togethers and employment-related parties. You’re also juggling your regular work expectations with possible travel and gift shopping.
If you’re not careful, all of this people interaction without much depth can feel empty. Because of this, consider scaling back how much you do this holiday season. Schedule some times to catch up with close friends and family over a coffee, for instance.
Don’t let cultural expectations get in the way of meaningful relationships. Remember that you’re in charge of your life and you understand best what needs to happen.
Help Someone Who’s Worse Off Than You
When you’re personally struggling with how to deal with the holiday blues, it can be easy to develop tunnel vision. You enter survival mode and all you can see are your own struggles.
The truth is that there are always people around you who are struggling even more. Become aware of this fact without heaping guilt on yourself. You’re just one person and you can’t help everyone. But the chances are, you can help one person.
Maybe that means watching children for a single mom free of charge so she can get a break. It could also mean volunteering at your local food pantry or buying groceries for a neighbor who just lost their job. You could also write a note of encouragement to someone who’s going through grief.
When you reach out to others despite your holiday blues, something paradoxical will happen. It would seem that your resources would be depleted even more (a scary thought when you’re already struggling).
However, the reality is just the opposite. By helping someone else with a struggle you also help yourself with yours. This doesn’t mean doing so many good things that your own personal wellness suffers.
Set small initial goals to help others and let the natural energy that comes from doing so drive you forward instead.
The Holiday Blues May Actually be Seasonal Blues
The holiday season blues aren’t always just because of the holidays. Sometimes this takes place because the holidays happen to fall during the times of the year with the least amount of daylight.
Some things that can help with this include maintaining a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep and regular exercise. Making a point to get out among other people also can help.
If you’re still struggling after doing all of these things consider purchasing a full-spectrum lamp to help supplement the sunlight you’re missing out on.
“Using a full spectrum lamp for twenty minutes a day can lessen this type of depression called SAD (seasonal affective disorder),” says Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. in his Psychology Today article entitled, “Ten Tools for Dealing with Holiday Depression and Stress.”
Still Struggling with How to Deal with the Holiday Blues?
Sometimes self-help measures aren’t enough. It could be that you’re going through a season of grief or bitterness or depression. If you’re struggling to cope with the holiday blues, you don’t have to keep trying to overcome this alone.