It’s that time of year again – the Christmas season is in full swing, and with it comes to all sorts of emotions. For many people, this means feeling overworked, stressed out, and exhausted. It’s important to take care of yourself during this time so you can be at your best for your family and friends. In this blog post, we will discuss ways to cope with the Christmas blues.
What Are Christmas Blues?
The term “Christmas blues” was first used in the 1960s by psychologists to describe a set of feelings that they believed were common during the holiday season. They characterized it as sadness, loneliness, or depression—a sense of being down or blue at this time of year.
Christmas blues are the feelings of sadness, anxiety, and stress that some people experience during the Christmas season. While not everyone experiences Christmas blues, they are relatively common. Up to one-third of people report feeling depressed during the holiday season.
Symptoms Of Christmas Blues
The symptoms of Christmas blues include:
- Feeling down or sad
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Procrastination is due to a lack of motivation
- This is called “holiday paralysis” because it can be worse than normal procrastination during this time.
- Increased stress levels
- Feeling lonely or isolated, even if you’re surrounded by people
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite, either eating more or less than usual.
The causes of Christmas blues can be:
- The Christmas blues are often the result of unrealistic demands and expectations.
- People experiencing depression before the holidays may find their symptoms worsen during this time of year as well.
- One of the most common cause is feeling pressure to have a “perfect” holiday. This might include unrealistic expectations about what you should be doing or how you should be feeling.
- Another factor is spending time with family and friends who may not be supportive or understanding of your feelings. This can lead to feelings of isolation or loneliness.
- Also, many people feel sad during the holidays because they cannot afford to buy presents or travel. They also have to pay more for food and other things.
- Another factor can be feeling down or blue about aspects of your life other than the holidays. This could be anything from feeling lonely or isolated to dissatisfaction with your job or relationships.
There can be many risk factors of Christmas blues such as:
- People who are stressed or experience high levels of anxiety, depression, and/or loneliness may be at greater risk for experiencing the Christmas blues.
- The holiday season often brings out negative emotions in people due to feeling lonely, isolated, or spending time with family members that don’t get along well together.
Typically, the more intense your symptoms are before the holidays start, having unrealistic expectations about how you should feel during this time of year. Additionally, if there is not much support or understanding from family members or friends during tough times can make it worse as well.
There are a few things that may help prevent feelings of sadness and depression around the holiday season:
- Set reasonable goals for yourself. This might include only purchasing gifts for people you see regularly—such as close relatives or neighbors—and asking friends to contribute items rather than buying an expensive gift just for them.
- Avoid overcommitting by saying no when other activities are proposed unless they’re something that sounds truly enjoyable to you.
- Plan to do at least one thing each day that you enjoy, even if it’s something small like reading your favorite book or taking a walk around your neighborhood.
- Spend time with supportive people who will understand and listen to what you’re feeling rather than try to change your mood.
- If possible, take a break from family gatherings by excusing yourself for a walk, nap, or some other activity that will give you a short respite from the stress of the holidays.
- Seek professional help if Christmas blues are impacting your quality of life or causing significant distress.
How To Cope With Christmas Blues?
If you are experiencing the Christmas blues, there are a few things that you can do to help improve your mood:
- Talk about how you’re feeling with someone who will understand and listen without judgment. This might be a friend, family member, therapist, or another support system.
- Identify any stressors in your life and come up with a plan to address them. This could mean setting realistic goals for yourself during the holiday season, budgeting for gifts and expenses, or making time each day to do something you enjoy.
- Take some time for yourself every day to relax and de-stress. This may include reading, listening to music, taking a walk, or meditating.
There are a few different treatment options for Christmas blues:
- Supportive therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you manage your feelings and thoughts about the holidays.
- If you are feeling sad or stressed at this time of year, you can take medicine to feel better.
- Another option is family counseling. It can help you with any problems that are causing stress around the holiday season.
- It can be hard to feel better during this time of year. Sometimes we need help from other people. You could go to group support sessions with people who understand how you feel.
How To Help Someone With Christmas Blues?
If you know someone who is experiencing the Christmas blues, there are a few things that you can do to help:
- Listen and validate their feelings. Avoid trying to cheer them up or change their mood—this will only make them feel worse.
- Offer support by reminding your loved ones of all the good things they have going for them in life right now.
- Don’t take it personally if they don’t want to spend time with you during this holiday season. Try inviting them out another day instead of when they might be feeling better.
- Be patient and understanding throughout this tough time and offer ongoing emotional support as needed.
- Express concern about how often your loved one is isolating themselves from others due to sadness or depression around the holidays, but avoid being judgmental.
- Encourage them to seek professional help if the Christmas blues persist or cause significant distress in their life.
- Provide practical support such as helping with holiday preparations, running errands, or just listening when they need someone to talk to.
- It can be difficult to see someone we care about struggling during the holidays.
By following these tips, you can help make the season a little brighter for them.
We have mentioned some tips for how to deal with the Christmas blues which were helpful in coping with this feeling of sadness during the holidays. The most important thing is that you know what works best for you! If these strategies don’t work or if they have negative effects on your mental health then it’s time to seek professional help from a therapist. It can also help just talking about your feelings with someone who knows them intimately-a friend, family member, partner, etc. Remember that there are many people out there experiencing similar emotions as you so remember not only yourself but others too. Take care of yourselves friends.