Everyone needs a breather, a license to let go and have fun whether it’s for a weekend or a day. Holidays blues represent the feeling one may experience during this time of year.
And for most people, the holidays are that time of the year when they get to sit back with friends and family. It’s a time to rest and unwind with good company.
However, there’s another side to the holidays that’s not all that pretty.
That’s when you feel like you’re lost inside the holiday mayhem. Things start getting out of hand or you feel like you’re a spectator watching from the sidelines.
Well, the term for all these negative emotions that take over this time of year is Holiday Blues. Today we’re going to take a look at ways to cope when you find yourself down around the holiday season.
What Are the Holiday Blues?
The holiday blues are the negative emotions that spark anxiety or depression during the holidays. They are usually a result of physical or emotional stress — or both.
You’ve been dealing with guests, stressing about food, and who eats and doesn’t eat what. It’s all about the little things that pile up, pushing you into a state of emotional distress.
But what’s the connection between the holiday blues and mental illness?
If you’ve been wondering if the holiday blues indicate mental illness, don’t worry. The condition is not a mental illness but a temporary mental health problem.
But psychologists take short-term mental health issues seriously. There’s always a chance they can lead to mental illnesses.
You should keep in mind that in certain cases, underlying mental health issues may cause the holiday blues. In fact, over 60 percent of people with mental illnesses report that holidays worsen their condition.
Why Do People Feel Overwhelmed During the Holidays?
Taking Additional Responsibility
A holiday may come with a lot of responsibilities. This can leave a person overwhelmed and feeling like nothing is going according to plan.
Overestimating Their Abilities
Some people overestimate their abilities and the limited time that comes with holidays. When that happens, they may end up with too much on their plate, which can trigger stress and anxiety.
Having Financial Problems
For those who are struggling financially, holidays can be stressful. This is especially true if they feel the need to buy gifts or receive guests.
Holidays may also serve as a reminder that one is unable to do the things they used to do due to their finances.
Some people are not happy with where they are in life. Holidays tend to remind them of a point in the past when they were happier. These recollections leave them sad and nostalgic.
Being Away From Loved Ones
Holidays are the times when loved ones get together.
However, not everyone has their loved ones near them. A lot of people have lost important loved ones. For these people, a holiday can feel like the worst time of the year.
Symptoms of Holiday Blues
If you think you might be coming down with a case of the holiday blues, be on the lookout for these symptoms:
- Unexplained Fatigue
- Feeling Stressed
- Anxiety and Depression
- Feelings of Melancholy
Tips to Help Cope with Holiday Blues
1. Beat Loneliness by Joining a Peer Circle
A lot of people assume that loneliness is when you’re away from people altogether. But that’s not true.
You can be lonely even when surrounded by people you’re familiar with. The difference is being around people who give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Most places have support groups, peer groups, sports, and hobby clubs. Don’t let yourself become isolated during the holidays. Find and join a group that you have something in common with.
You may find that there are lots of people out there who feel the same way as you do. Besides, you may end up making some lifelong friends from your peer circle.
2. Give Yourself a Break
Many of us could use a reminder that a holiday is not the end of the world and it’s not the only one either.
You don’t have to stretch yourself thin to get everything right, because if you don’t it’s okay too. Give yourself a break, especially from those things that are likely to stress you out.
If you have a lot on your plate and you feel ready to break, divide your tasks into smaller tasks and rest between them.
Better yet, try doing something nice for yourself.
It’s a holiday after all. You can go for a walk, shopping, or anything that’ll take your mind off your unfinished work for a bit.
3. Talk To Someone About How You Feel
It helps to talk about your feelings, to the right people of course. Negative emotions like loss can make you feel like you’re drowning. These feelings may intensify during the holidays.
Find someone you can trust and share with them how you feel. If you don’t have such a person you may want to consider seeing a therapist. This is especially important if you’re dealing with loss.
4. Try Getting Plenty of Sleep
Many of us would love to postpone sleep until after the holiday.
Still, it’s in your best interest to get enough sleep if you’re expecting a lot of activities. The last thing you want is a combination of sleep deprivation and a busy day.
Getting plenty of sleep will leave you well-rested, with a clear mind ahead of an exciting day.
5. Avoid Ignoring Your Feelings
When you have holiday blues, it takes a toll on your emotions. You’re not emotionally stable for one reason or the other.
While it’s not a dire situation, it should be serious enough to warrant reflecting on your emotional wellbeing. You need to try to find the root cause of the problem.
Have you ever been angry because of something, only to realize later that it was for an entirely different reason?
The cause of our emotions can be tricky to pinpoint sometimes. Whatever you do, don’t ignore your feelings and bottle them up with hopes that they’ll just go away.
The best approach is to confront your feelings. Ask yourself why you feel distressed during a holiday. If you find the root cause, you’ll most definitely find a way to address it.
You don’t want to let the holiday blues ruin your holiday. Regardless of why it’s happening, you can still find a way to be a part of the holiday spirit without falling into emotional distress.
Treatment starts with finding out why you feel susceptible to the condition. Armed with this information, it’s a lot easier to find a lasting solution or a way to cope.
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at REVO with 5 years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making REVO a place to call home.