The music, the lights, the shopping. The holiday season should be a happy time, but you just don’t feel as excited as you should. You feel anxious, unmotivated, irritable or just not as “in the holiday spirit” as you’d like to be. If any of those descriptors hit home, you may be experiencing the holiday blues. But don’t worry, there’s help. If the holiday blues have got you down, try these three remedies.
1. Don’t Be Alone
Isolation is one of the most prevalent sources of holiday depression. For some, the isolation is voluntary. But for others, family is far away and friends are hard to come by. For both groups of people, loneliness can cause extreme feelings of sadness during the holidays. Instead of staying cooped up in the house alone, plan some time to be around others. Accept invitations to hangout with coworkers, volunteer, or simply make time to be friendly and sociable when in public. Talking and laughing with others can do wonders for your mood, so remember, you don’t have to be alone.
With the sun rising later and setting earlier, winter brings shorter days. With that comes fewer hours of sunshine. Whether we consciously think about it or not, the sunlight plays a huge role in how we feel. One way to combat the holiday blues is seeking more sun. If you’ll be spending the day inside, open the curtains and let the natural light pour in. Even better, if you have some time to go outside, go out and soak up some rays. Despite the cool weather, the sun on your skin can still be beneficial by improving your mood and quite literally, brightening your day.
3. Pinpoint Your Triggers (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
If you know the holidays usually spark feelings of sadness, be proactive by pinpointing your woes. Financial worries, unrealistic expectations, and fatigue are a few common sources that can cause people to feel negative emotions during the last couple months of the year. But if you know the triggers, you can create a plan to avoid them. Identify the origin of your pain and outline an action plan to prevent them this year.
Feeling blue doesn’t have to be a normal part of your holiday season. Keep these four tips handy to improve your mood and usher in some holiday cheer. But if these, or other home remedies, don’t make a dent in your progress, it may be time to seek help from a professional. Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and other mood disorders are all real issues that require real help.
If you feel that the weight of the holidays is heavier than a quick fix, don’t be afraid to take the next step. Let someone know how you’re feeling, schedule an appointment with a therapist, or speak to a psychiatrist. It’s always better to reach out for help than suffer in silence. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and everyone deserves happiness, especially during such a joyous season.