Managing the Holiday Blues

Holiday Blues

By Pam Gennings, Executive Director Special Projects*

The holidays should be a time of happiness, but for some people it can trigger a range of emotions including the temporary feeling of anxiety or depression also known as the Holiday Blues. The Holiday Blues can be caused by extra stress, unrealistic expectations or even memories that accompany the season.

The Holiday Blues might include:

  • Fatigue
  • Tension
  • Frustration
  • Loneliness or isolation
  • Sadness
  • A sense of loss

How can you avoid the Holiday Blues?

  • Stick to normal routines as much as possible.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Take time for yourself, but don’t isolate yourself. Spend time with supportive, caring people.
  • Eat and drink in moderation. Don’t drink alcohol if you are feeling down.
  • Get exercise—even if it’s only a short walk.
  • Keep things simple. Make a to-do list.
  • Set reasonable expectations and goals for holiday activities such as shopping, cooking, entertaining, attending parties or sending holiday cards.
  • Set a budget for holiday activities. Don’t overextend yourself financially.
  • Listen to music or find other ways to relax.
  • Perform an act of kindness. It will provide you with a good feeling.

Remember, the Holiday Blues are short-term. Be patient and take the holiday season day by day. You will get through it!

Excerpts from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

*Pam Gennings has a Bachelor’s of Arts and has worked in the field of Geriatric Social Work and Care Coordination for more than 30 years. She started working for Oxford HealthCare in 1993. During the course of her career she has helped thousands of people find resources to remain in their homes as well as provided guidance to families that were facing difficulties with their aging loved ones.