How to Beat the Holiday BluesShelby Wall
For most, the holidays are an opportunity to connect with loved ones, experience the joy of giving, and unwind as you close out another year. However, for some, this is a time of great anxiety, depression, and other overwhelming negative feelings known as “the holiday blues.” Often called holiday depression, these strong emotions affect millions of people each year, taking away the joy and excitement that should be felt during this season. Read on to learn more about what causes the holiday blues, how they relate to existing conditions, and how you can cope this holiday season.
Mental Health Around the Holidays
With joyous events, magical decorations, and exciting annual traditions taking place this month, it can be difficult to understand why someone might begin to feel deeply sad or anxious during this time. However, the holiday blues are quite common and often occur due to an underlying cause. Not to be confused with depression, the blues only arise during the holidays and will fade once the season has passed. Signs of this seasonal slump include:
Although mental illness is not a direct cause of the holiday blues, the symptoms of your previously diagnosed mental health conditions can be exacerbated during this time. Other potential causes include financial stress, nostalgia, loss, trauma related to this season, social and family pressures, and work-related stress. If your negative thoughts or feelings do not subside in the new year, it is important to consult your doctor and develop an action plan for coping.
Holiday Depression: How to Cope
Navigating the holiday blues can be difficult, as its sudden appearance in your life can be jarring and difficult to understand. There are several ways to cope and find relief during the holidays, as well as provide you the opportunity for avoiding these overwhelming thoughts and feelings in the future. If you find yourself feeling down, try to:
- Utilize therapy to better understand and work through your stressors or trauma
- Set realistic expectations and boundaries for yourself during this season
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Refrain from excessive alcohol and drug use
- Communicate with your loved ones about how you are feeling
These coping methods relate directly to the possible causes of the holiday blues, allowing you to understand and work through the root of your feelings. Utilizing these coping methods can allow you to find freedom from your negative thoughts and enjoy the holiday season with loved ones without feeling anxious, sad, or frustrated.
Overcome the Holiday Blues
The holiday season is long-awaited each year, as it brings about a spirit of giving, love, laughter, and renewal. However, this busy and eventful time can also bring feelings of pressure, loss, trauma, loneliness, and stress.
If you or someone you love struggles with the holiday blues, you should know that there is hope. R&A Therapeutic Partners offers mental health evaluations, individual and family therapy, educational planning, and aftercare workshops that will help you understand, address, and overcome your struggles. Contact us today to learn more about our therapeutic services and how they can help you be on your way to enjoying the holidays to the fullest.
At R&A Therapeutic Partners Raymond Estefania and Ana Moreno specialize in substance use and mental health disorder evaluations, treatment, intervention and therapeutic/educational consulting for clients throughout the greater South Florida area, as well as nationally and internationally. For more resources and information please visit Therapeutic-Partners.com or on Facebook.