Coping with the Holiday Blues
December is typically considered the happiest time of the year with holiday fever seemingly everywhere. Turn on the television, go online, or visit any store in the neighborhood, and you will find yourself bombarded with images of joyful people surrounded by festive holiday decorations and loving family and friends.
High expectations for images of holiday perfection can trigger feelings of stress or depression for many people. This is especially true for someone who has recently lost a loved one. The holidays can trigger an overwhelming and more profound sense of loss.
If circumstances in your life find you anxious or depressed about the holidays there are some guidelines for effective coping. Here are just a few:
- Don’t deny your feelings of sadness or loss. Forced happiness takes more energy than acceptance of your current feelings.
- Maintain healthy habits with exercise, getting plenty of rest and healthy eating.
- Set realistic expectations for holiday events. Old traditions may need to be revised and new ones developed.
- Share your feelings with trusted confidantes, or seek professional assistance if needed.
For more information on coping with the holidays visit these links from the Mayo Clinic and Psychology Today.
Written by Terri Knox, RN, CDE