Overcoming the Holiday Blues
Updated: Jan 12
The end of the holidays is a sad affair for most people as they have to get back to work, spend less family time, or put an end to a relaxation period. It is not unusual at all. The holiday season is usually viewed as happy moments and creates treasured memories. But to some people, it presents a feeling of sadness, anxiety, or loneliness after it is over, commonly known as holiday blues. Although holiday blues is not considered to be clinical depression, the emotions can impact your capability to carry on ordinarily in the beginning of the coming year. If you are experiencing these feelings, you are not alone.
With so much going on over the holidays, any person would feel overwhelmed. Since holidays are associated with many activities, such as hosting family and friends, going on vacation, or traveling to celebrate with family, it can leave one feeling exhausted. With everything going on in the world, maybe you are feeling blue because you did NOT get to do all of that.
Symptoms of the Holiday Blues:
A feeling of tiredness
Disinterested in things you like
Lack of concentration
Withdrawing from loved ones
Feeling angry and irritable
Causes of the Holiday Blues
There are several reasons why a lot of people go through holiday blues that include:
Since holidays come with various hustles and activities, one can be left quite exhausted after the holidays have ended. With hands full of hosting parties, traveling, and shopping, it is very common to feel tired once the holidays are over.
During the holidays, the normal used to be having constant company of friends and family with whom you share sweet moments. Once the holidays are gone, and friends and family have gone away, it is normal to feel lonely. In the current situation with the pandemic, some may have experienced loneliness throughout the holidays, if not able to see family and friends.
3. Adjusting to normal
All of a sudden, January 2nd comes around and the schedule is back to normal. This means back to work, chores and obligations. This is an abrupt change that one needs to adapt to.
4. Working on New Year resolutions
When January approaches, reality hits; the year is coming to an end with new resolutions to make. If you haven’t accomplished previous goals from the prior year, it may create feelings of disappointment.
5. Dealing with disappointment
After spending many months planning for a dream holiday, injecting resources, the holiday may not turn out as you expected. And this year is unique as the whole world is dealing with Covid-19; with social distancing and fear of travel to avoid catching the virus, many are feeling disappointed.
6. Weight gain
After excessive eating and drinking that is related to holidays, we are bound to gain a few pounds, thanks to overindulgence in the numerous parties we host or attend. We are all guilty of eating as if there is no tomorrow, and when January knocks, and we are back to our usual, this may cause some negative feelings.
7. Financial woes
The holiday season is a time that lends to overspending. This can be a source of worry and concern.
Ways to make it through the Holiday Blues
There are some things you can practice to overcome the holiday blues. These include:
1. Stay connected with people you love
You do not have to wait for the holiday season to get in touch with your family and friends. Spare time to visit your loved ones throughout the year to have fun and catch up. This way, you will not feel the loneliness once the holidays are gone as you are used to meeting them now and then.
2. Plan for activities
Do not wait until the holiday period to plan for activities such as vacation or hosting family/friends. Fill your year’s calendar with activities you enjoy doing, as this will give you something to look forward to after the holidays. Plan these activities with friends or family for perfect satisfaction.
3. Do things that bring you joy
Always do the things that make you happy; if it doesn’t make you happy, it’s not worth it. Turn down party invites if you are not in the party mood and instead practice meditation, yoga, walk, or dancing; if that is what makes you happy.
Exercising is a great way to burn all the calories you gained while indulging over the holidays. Also, exercise helps to get rid of the stress and anxiety that comes with the holidays as it will leave you with a clear mind and energy to face another year. Take 20 minutes- walk; it will increase your heart rate to release dopamine and serotonin in the brain to reduce anxiety and stabilize mood.
Holiday blues are real and can turn January into a month of anxiety and anguish. But there are some things you can change to make things better. Begin by pinpointing the things that leave you feeling the blues after the holidays and then make a move to curb them.
Your Therapy Friend,
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Perinatal & Relationships Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationship with their children and significant other. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Perinatal Mental Health Certified Professional, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter and son, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining. Read more about her at: www.plantationcounseling.com and follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/infinitetherapy/