The holiday blues are more common this season than what you think. This season can be a joyous but also a very stressful time. Shopping, family get togethers overindulging on food and drinking can all take a toll on our mental and physical health. This time of year is already difficult due to the seasonal changes (see previous blog post on Seasonal Affective Disorder here), and the holidays can also bring up past traumas that can further exacerbate isolation and loneliness. The holiday blues can impact anyone, however according to the the National Alliance on Mental Illness 64% of people living with mental illness experience the holiday blues, so it’s important you take care of yourself during this stressful time of year.
Here are a few strategies to help you better manage:
Set a Budget
If feeling pressured to spend money, it may be helpful to set a budget and stick to it. It’s easy to get caught up in commercialization but stick to your values and explore other ways to show your love in more creative forms, like making a gift, volunteering or an experiential gift. But remember, set your budget and don’t feel pressured to spend more than you have. At the end of the day, our loved ones often care more about spending time with us than the gift itself.
Not all families jive well and we create unrealistic expectations that everyone needs to get along however sometimes that’s impossible. If there are particular family members that you butt heads with, then consider planning ahead on what you’re comfortable sharing and not sharing. Set boundaries, and try not to take differences as personal attacks. Try accepting differences which can make holiday dinners and parties much more tolerable. If all else fails, set physical boundaries so only commit to spending one night vs. the week with family or only spend a couple of hours at a party.
Loneliness can be a concern for people, especially if you’re struggling with Holiday Blues. Isolating yourself will amplify your loneliness so it’s important to connect with other people who may also be struggling. Consider joining a group or volunteering to increase socialization, and keep a lookout for community events happening near you.
Acknowledge your feelings
If the Holidays ignite feelings of loss and grief, don’t ignore them. The holidays can bring up a lot of emotions and memories about the people we’ve lost in our life. Acknowledge your feelings and talk to friends and family. Also consider exploring ways to create new holiday traditions that will keep your loved ones memory alive.
Support is always available at Bronte Wellness Boutique, and if interested in learning new strategies to cope with the holidays consider booking an appointment with our resident therapist. Psychotherapy andCounselling services are available at Bronte Wellness Boutique.