Battling the Holiday Blues

holiday_blues
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” “Joy to the world!” and “Tis the season to be jolly” …

These popular holiday song lyrics explain how we all feel during the holiday season, right? Not so.

For many the holidays can be filled with anxiety, sadness, and loneliness.  There are a variety of reasons why people may feel the holiday blues.

Whatever the reason may be, there are ways to help plan ahead and get through the holiday season.

Loneliness

Holidays can be difficult for many without a significant other or for those separated geographically from family. If you can’t be with your loved ones, set a later date to celebrate when you can all be together.

Finances

One of the joys of the season is giving. Feeling financially strapped and without resources to give can leave many feeling insufficient. Create a reasonable budget and stick to it. Remember the important thing is your presence, not the presents!

Remembering the Past and Loved Ones Lost

Holidays are filled with reflection and family. Thinking back on loved ones lost can dampen current spirits with sadness. It’s appropriate to mourn, but don’t isolate yourself. If old traditions bring unhappy memories, start new ones. If you don’t have family, share the holidays with friends. Find some way to join in – look at sights, lights, go listen to music, or volunteer to help less fortunate. It’s hard to feel down while you are busy helping someone else.

Sunlight

Many people suffer from depression during the winter due to shorter days and poor weather that reduces our outdoor time. Try to get at least 20 minutes of sunlight each day. Both sunlight and exercise help to fight any chemical causes for holiday blues.

In addition to the tips above, one of the best ways to effectively cope with holiday stress is to get your REST!

Realistic – Be reasonable and set realistic goals on what you can/cannot handle during the holidays.

Exercise Daily – Remember to exercise and to eat in moderation.

Simplify – Set a budget for social outings and gifts. Simple gifts do bring great pleasure!

Time – Spend time with supportive people. Remember time to rest and relax.

Remember, set aside time to go “walking in a winter wonderland” and “deck the halls with boughs of holly.”

“May your days be merry and bright” this holiday season!

Amy LaGrastaAmy LaGrasta, School Counseling Manager, helps students make informed decisions about courses, career and college options, and the study habits needed for online success. Prior to joining FLVS, she served as the guidance director at Estero High School in Lee County, FL where she was honored with the Teacher of Distinction award.



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