The Holiday Blues
In honor of the holiday season I thought it was important to address the pink elephant in the room…The Holiday Blues. In a time when everyone appears to be content, and joyful it is important to remember that it is OK to face some negative emotions, at this time as well. Whether the stress of time with family, grief and loss anniversaries, loneliness, financial concern, or other stressors, it is important to recognize the need for self care at this time of year. There are many ways to safely cope with the holiday blues and recognize what is taking place in your mind and body.
The holiday blues are essentially a set of symptoms that appear similar to anxiety and depression. Various symptoms could include and are not limited to: worry, panic, depression, fatigue, sadness, irritability, etc.. The holidays blues are associated with various physical symptoms: headaches, stomach problems, physical pain, muscle tension, insomnia/hypersomnia, patterns of addiction and other physical health concerns. It is imperative we listen to our bodies and minds so we can intervene and safely address our emotional states.
Healthy coping skills are extremely important in regulating our emotions during this time of the year. Coping skills can fall in to two categories: individual skills and interpersonal (group) skills.
Individual Coping Skills:
- Listen to your mind/body
- Set realistic goals for self and others-DON'T OVER DO IT!
- Creating to-do lists and prioritizing needs rather than focusing on everything
- Self Care: specialized time for self, listen to your favorite song, engage in hobbies/interests, rest, have fun, and practice of other safe tools all in moderation
- Remain grounded and focused on the present-fight the urge to focus on the past or future
- Plan ahead
Interpersonal (group skills):
- Reach out: talk to friends, family, therapist, or other helpful individuals
As stressful as the holidays may seem always remember that it is a time-limited event. You absolutely have the ability to get through the holidays by using healthy coping skills. Remember that you are not alone in this and that many people face the holiday blues at one time or another.
If ever the holiday blues feel like they are out of control please call:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Available 24 hours everyday