Hello Friday - Fight the Holiday Blues

Happy Friday! How was your Thanksgiving? I hope it was filled with gratitude, happiness, friends and family;  and of course…..lots of GREAT food 😊!

It begins….the Holiday Season and the Holiday Rush! The Hallmark Channel is in “full swing” filled with movies of Christmas romance, love and connection, family, etc.  For many, the holiday season can evoke feelings of joy, warmth, happiness and belonging and that is GREAT! Often, when the holidays are here, there are expectations of being “excited, happy, thrilled, joyful….”; but, what if you are not feeling those feelings? What if you are not feeling so cheerful? You might be asking yourself, “is there something wrong with me?” You are not alone.

For some people this time of year brings on more stress, anxiety and loneliness for a host of reasons. This feeling can be known as the “Holiday Blues”!  The holiday blues are real. Findings from surveys suggest that many people feel more anxiety, stress and depression in the period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. The holiday season can bring  a dizzying array of demands – partying, shopping, baking, cleaning, entertaining, unrealistic expectations and even sentimental memories that accompany the season can be a catalyst for the holiday blues.

So, what can you do to combat some of the feelings that might come with the added stress and pressure of the holiday season. Here are some practical tips that can help you minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. Taking action on some of these ideas may even end up helping you enjoy the holiday more than you thought you would 😊!

  • Acknowledge your feelings and reach out – Instead of spending time at home alone seek out community and social events. Reach out to friends. Reach out to family. Volunteer your time to help others. This is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.

  • Learn to say “No”Overscheduling and not making time for yourself can lead to feeling “overwhelmed”. Friends and colleagues will understand if you cannot participate in everything.

  • Do not abandon healthy habits – Do not let the holidays  become a “free-for-all”.Overindulgence adds to stress and guilt. Try these suggestions: 1) have a healthy snack before going to a party so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, overeating, and alcohol 2) get plenty of sleep, 3) incorporate regular physical activity into each day.

  • Take a breather – Make some time for yourself. Even spending 15 minutes a day alone without distractions may refresh you. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing down breathing and restoring your inner calm. Some options may include: 1) take a walk at night and stargaze, 2) listen to soothing music, 3) get a massage, 4) read a book.

  • Stick to a budget – Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend and stick to it! Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.

Take control of your holidays. Do not let the holidays be something you dread. Take steps to prevent stress than can descend during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers so you can combat them. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find some peace and joy during this holiday season.

Here is to wishing you a peace-filled season!

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