Couples Surviving The Holiday Blues. What To Do For Those Holiday Blues. We just got done with Thanksgiving and Christmas is just around the corner. Before you know it we’ll be ringing in the New Year. Depending how you weathered through Thanksgiving, Christmas may or may not be something to look forward to. For most people this time of year is filled with fun and excitement and for others, it’s a time of loneliness and depression, filled with days of obligation, guilt, and doing things you really don’t want to do. Part of what happens during the holiday season is we undergo challenges with situations that create a range of emotions due to various stressors. Overdrinking, overeating, and fatigue may also cause it. The demands of the season include shopping, cooking, travel, house guests, family get-togethers, office parties, more shopping, and extra financial burden. Then there is isolation when your support system is limited.
As a Marriage Counselor in Couples Counseling, I help individuals and couples get perspective on how to manage these stressors and how to cope with the overload. By implementing some of the following tips the Holiday Blues can be managed in ways that can keep you sane.
1. Be reasonable with your schedule. Don’t overbook yourself into a state of exhaustion–this makes people cranky, irritable, and depressed.
2. Prioritize and Organize your time.
3. Remember no matter what your plans, the holidays do not automatically take away feelings of being alone, sadness, frustration, anger, and fear.
4. Be careful about resentments from past holidays. Declare an amnesty with whichever family member or friend you are feeling past resentments.
5. Don’t expect the holidays to be just as they were when you were a child. They NEVER are. You’re not the same as when you were a child, and no one else in the family is either.
6. Don’t have any plans for the Holidays? Volunteer to serve holiday dinner at a homeless shelter. Work with any number of groups that help underprivileged or hospitalized children at the holidays. There are many opportunities for doing community service. No one can be depressed when they are making other people happy.
7. Plan unstructured, low-cost fun holiday activities: window-shop and look at holiday decorations. Look at people’s Christmas lighting on their homes, take a trip to the mountains, etc.
8. If you drink, do not let the holidays become a reason for over-indulging with hangovers. This will exacerbate your depression and anxiety. Contrary to popular opinion, alcohol is a depressant.
9. Give yourself a break and create time for yourself to do the things YOU love and need to do for your physical and mental wellness: aerobic exercise, yoga, massage, taking long fast walks or any activity that calms you down and gives you a better perspective on what is important in your life. Laugh.
10. If the Holiday Blues become overwhelming and affects your normal level of functioning seeking counseling with a Therapist is always a good thing to do.
Please let me know if I can be of help. Call me at (858) 735-1139 Happy Holidays