I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I have dedicated my life to supporting women and families that face the special challenges of anxiety, depression, and merging two families together.
As we approach the holiday season, all of the merriment, food, family gatherings, and love will be in full swing. While this time of year brings joy for many of us, anxiety and dread are often reminders of where we are, where we aren’t, and who we are while also confirming what we are not connected to.
Holiday blues, what are they?
According to a survey taken by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), 64% of people say they are affected, and 24% of those surveyed say they are impacted a lot by the holiday blues. So, what exactly are the holiday blues? Holiday Blues are short-term, temporary feelings of anxiety or depression during the holidays that attribute to extra stress, unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others, or even painful memories that can arise during the season. These feelings might also include fatigue, loneliness/isolation, muscle tension, headaches, sadness, frustration, or a sense of loss.
However, you can minimize the stress, anxiety, and sadness accompanying the holidays with some practical tips. You may even find the holidays enjoyable in the end.
Tips to prevent holiday anxiety and depression
The holidays don’t have to be something you dread. Taking steps to prevent the stress and depression that can arise during the holidays can help you get through and even enjoy the season. Learn to identify your triggers to manage them before they become overwhelming. Planning and employing positive thinking can help you find peace and joy during the holidays.