For so many people, the holiday season can trigger stress and depression for many reasons. Financial stressors, the loss of a loved one, difficult family dynamics or being far away from home are common issues that create sadness around this time of year. Even seeing others enjoying this season can make it especially difficult.
The Holiday Blues are real and more common than most people think. Depression around the holidays can be incredibly overwhelming. Holiday Parties, additional family obligations, additional financial expenses, or a recent loss can make most want to crawl in bed and never resurface.
If you are dealing with these feelings of being overwhelm, sadness and stress, you are not alone! There are ways to manage these symptoms and get the help you need.
What are some signs you may have Holiday Blues?
- An increase in anxiety and depression when thinking about the holidays
- A loss of interest in the things you normally enjoy
- Trouble concentrating and an inability to accomplish normal everyday tasks
- Feeling the depth of your loss more frequently
- Feeling more tired and unmotivated than usual
- Loss or patience or easily irritated by common issues
How Can I Manage My Holiday Blues?
1. Increase your vitamin D, Magnesium, and B complex.
The holiday season also brings on the season of cold weather and gray skies. Be sure to be diligent in taking your vitamin supplements. Vitamin D (taken with fatty foods in the morning) has a direct effect on depression and anxiety, Magnesium (taken in the evening before bedtime) assists in relaxation and sleep while the B complex keeps your immune system working. If you are deficient in any of these, you will notice a difference pretty quickly. It will not take away all the feels but it certainly can help make them more manageable.
2. Exercise Regularly
even if this is just 10 minutes on an exercise bike or a walk down the street- getting out and exercising changes the scenery enough to create a “reset” in the brain and activate good vibes.
3. Limit Alcohol
Before leaving your home, decide how much you are going to drink. One glass or two? Getting completely wasted and drowning away the blues is factually a great way to bring on the blues with much more severity along with a ripping headache… so, if you are going to partake- partake with caution and drink responsibly.
4. Create a new holiday tradition
Sometimes, the best thing we can do when we are struggling is to honor the past and the pain by creating a new tradition around it. An ornament, a special baking treat, or even creating a new spiritual element to the holidays is a healthy way to honor your loss without giving over to the sadness of it. Ex. “Starting this year, because of……, and in honor of……, we will be…” buying a new ornament for the tree, starting an advent calendar, eating dessert first at thanksgiving…you get the idea… What will your new tradition be?
1. Learn to Say “NO”
This is especially important during this season. For many, there is a family obligation or holiday part every night of the week…. Calendar well and make sure that you leave time for yourself. Limit your engagements, set a timer for how long you can take part in them or just say “no” and take the night off. Most people understand as they are in the exact same boat as you!
2. Get support
If your heart was ailing you, you would see a cardiologist…Sometimes, our heart hurts emotionally too and an expert on mental health is just as important as physical health. Schedule some time with your closest friends.
1. Count Your Blessings
Remember the things God has blessed you with. Joshua 1:9 says, "Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Find one thing to be grateful for today. Even if its small. What do you have to be grateful for?
2. Open Up Your Bible
Maybe it's been a Long time for you or maybe its never happened. In either case, start in the book of John, 1John or James located in the New Testament. Or Find a quick devotional book (Jesus Calling on Amazon) that you can turn to for a quick minute.
Let’s be honest, the holidays can have some tough moments for about 80% of the population. Remember that you are not alone. There is also a loving God who wants you to know that you have a purpose in this world and that your time here is incredibly valuable. “Never will I leave you or forsake you”… if you haven’t been to church in a while, perhaps now is the time to see what HE is all about. We hope these suggestions help you as you enter into this season!
Good Tidings of Comfort and Joy,