Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) has been a public health concern for a while now, but what about the Holiday Blues? While SAD is a genuine clinical disorder that some people suffer from, anyone can be touched by general melancholia around the holidays.
The “holiday blues,” in essence, is simply suffering from situational depression and stress that is brought on by the holiday season. It typically starts before Thanksgiving and carries on through New Year’s. You can start addressing the holiday blues by talking to a healthcare provider, who should be able to help diagnose your symptoms and point you towards proper resources to address them. In addition, if you’re feeling sad amidst the nostalgia this holiday season, here are a few tips to help fight the holiday stress in your daily routine.
Shun the Busyness
It’s a modern trend to glorify busyness. Most people these days love to fill up their time with long work weeks, busy social schedules, and draining vacations. They brag about how exhausted they are by the end of the day or the week, even if they’re the ones perpetuating that cycle.
The holidays are well-known for their busy atmosphere, and that can easily add to that holiday stress. Instead of buckling to the busyness, go into this holiday season ready to shun the bustle and proactively plan for chances to slow down.
Hand in hand with the busyness is the fear of missing out (FOMO). If you suffer from an inability to miss out on something or anything that is happening, you’re going to be overwhelmed by the holidays. It’s a simple fact.
Before Thanksgiving (or the end of November) arrives, spend time focusing on the fact that you don’t need to be a part of every event and activity. If you fight FOMO, you’ll be able to genuinely relax and destress from time to time during your holiday season.
Art is a reputable form of stress relief. It can spur creativity, bring a healthy focus, and help you to slow down and enjoy the moment.
Whether you’re participating in simple drawing and watercolor exercises or you’re going all out with some ambitiously artistic DIY home decor, incorporating art into your holiday season can provide a great boost to your morale.
Be a Conscious Gourmand
Stress eating is a real thing. If you head into the holidays assuming you’ll be able to keep your appetite in check, think again. The moment that barrage of depression and stress hits you, you’re likely to start scarfing down every Christmas cookie and piece of pie in sight!
Before the holidays hit, take the time to look for healthy recipes that can help you avoid that temptation to stress eat. Consider coming up with a meal plan for the month as well, and if you’re feeling ambitious, you may also want to strip your house of unhealthy snacks. Don’t worry, you’ll get plenty of junk food and sweet treats as you move around from one holiday party to the next. Keeping your house sans unhealthy food is a great way to keep that ultimately demoralizing culinary junk to reasonable levels.
Manage Your Meds
If you’re already prone to depression, anxiety, or both, you may already be (or have been) on medication. As the ups and downs of the holiday excitement and depression approaches, don’t let it lure you into thinking it is a necessarily time to make a change. If you suddenly go off or jump onto a medication simply because your circumstances have temporarily changed, it can have serious side effects.
The holidays aren’t necessarily the best time to take on a new medication regimen. Instead, talk to your doctor and try to stay the course as best you can until they think it’s time for a change. Big decisions like these are often best left for the more thoughtful, sober days that will follow the holiday celebrations.
Take Some Time
Finally, make sure to schedule in some time for yourself over the holidays. This goes for both yourself and your family. If you spend every waking moment tending to countless social calls and shopping trips, you’re going to run yourself ragged in no time.
As you actively try to resist the busyness and embrace an anti-FOMO attitude, take the time to proactively schedule in some time to relax and unwind at home. Consider implementing some good old-fashioned Hygge concepts into your home decor as well, and make sure that your family gets time to recharge together, too.
Staying Positive During the Holidays
Whether you’re loading up a diffuser with some essential oils, decorating with Hygge in mind, painting a picture, or simply fighting that fear of missing out, there are plenty of ways to prevent that holiday stress from building up.
The important thing is that you go over your options, find the best ones for your own situation, and then commit to them before the holiday season hits. Then, when you feel depression beginning to creep in, you’ll have a toolkit of techniques ready to use in order to reclaim both your happiness and your entire holiday season.
You experience extra stress or depression over the holiday season? Appointments through December are filling up fast, so contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. If you are ready to book an appointment, click BOOK ONLINE NOW.