Tips To Avoid the Holiday Blues
Many people experience the increased stress and sadness during the holiday season commonly referred to as the “holiday blues.” Studies have shown most people with mental illness find that he holidays makes their condition worse. People are likely to experience increased stress this year due to COVID-19 impacting holiday get-togethers and traditions. It is hard to cope when stress is at its peak, so try to prevent stress and the holiday blues from occurring this year with some planning ahead.
- Set reasonable expectations. Accepting that the holidays are going to be different this year is a helpful first step. Focus on new traditions and alternative ways to celebrate when you cannot get together in person. Planning ahead can greatly decrease holiday stress.
- Maintain basic healthy habits. Focus on daily habits promoting physical health including regular sleep, daily exercise, healthy eating habits, staying hydrated, and maintaining basic hygiene.
- Acknowledge your feelings. The holiday season can increase feelings of sadness and grief over past losses. This is a normal part of the grieving process. Tell yourself that it is okay to take time to cry, express your feelings, and to not feel happy throughout the holidays.
- Reach out and stay connected. If you are struggling with feeling lonely and isolated seek support and companionship, even if it has to be online for safety. Reach out to friends and family members who may also be struggling with isolation. Consider volunteering for increased social contact and to improve your mood by helping others.
- Get help and support when you need it. There has been a significant increase in mental health difficulties this year leaving people more prone than usual holiday blues. If needed seek support through mental health providers which can meet via teletherapy or in-person options.