Let’s face it- with all the uncertainty in the world it’s no wonder that people will have holiday blues. With the economy as bad as it is people are facing the loss of a jobs, or homes or just don’t have the money to spend on presents. Some are the grieving the death of a family member or close friend. Some of us may have strained family relationships which make us feel isolated and lonely. These are only a few of the issues people are facing. Disappointments happen all year long but it is magnified during the holiday season. Developing realistic expectations about the holiday season may be helpful in preventing holiday blues.
Excessive eating, drinking and spending money during the season may be used to fill the emotional voids and holes. We all know temporary fixes don’t work.
One solution is to try to make changes in your life during the year. Find activities that are fulfilling. Make a list of things you enjoy doing and do them. If you want to meet more friends, develop a plan of how you are going to achieve it. If you want to be closer to your family or friends; take the initiative. If you feel angry and resentful begin to work through these feelings. Sometimes doing something nice for someone helps.
First and foremost be kind and nurturing to you. Buy yourself flowers or get a massage. Over the holiday season it is important to exercise to increase the good chemicals that prevent depression.
Okay, if you feel you heard this before and this is old news, the truth is, from my experience, people don’t usually take care of themselves when feeling blue – So this is just a gentle reminder!
If you are feeling overwhelmed, very sad and the activities you enjoy are no longer fun and it lasts for more than two weeks - seek help by calling a counselor, friend, and spiritual leader. Don’t isolate.
With warm and genuine regards, for a good holiday season!
Donna Bellafiore MSW, LCSW
Copyright all rights reserved 2009