How to Manage the Holiday Blues
As we head into the holiday season, we anticipate a period of happiness and fulfillment, filled with quality time spent with loved ones. While this is a shared experience for so many, an overwhelming expectation of joy can lend itself to feelings of disappointment and sadness. It is common for people to feel lonely during the holidays, due to an inability to visit important family and friends. On the other hand, many people feel withdrawn even if they are able to spend time with their loved ones. Much of this sadness is brought on by cold weather, shorter days and an extended break from our daily routine. It is important to acknowledge that the holiday season can feel difficult for so many, which is why Apricotton has assembled a few tips to make your holiday season as cheerful as possible.
Be Honest with Family and Friends
As much as the holiday season is an opportune time to share your successes and reminisce on positive memories with loved ones, it is equally a time to be candid, leaning on family and friends to support you if you are feeling down. Being honest about your feelings will help alleviate feelings of loneliness, and ultimately strengthen your relationship with those you don't get to visit frequently. In doing so, you will feel a closer sense of family, which will make holiday celebrations more meaningful! The best way to channel holiday spirit is by checking in on your loved ones, and showing compassion for one another.
Set Aside Time for Long Distance Phone Calls
If you are missing the opportunity to spend time with your best friend or a favorite cousin who lives far away, I recommend scheduling a lengthy phone or FaceTime call to catch up. While this may seem overly formal, it can be very difficult to commit to a time where both parties are wholeheartedly dedicated to catching up. To make sure these special relationships are not pushed aside during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, marking your calendars is the way to go. A fantastic way to boost your spirits is by getting comfortable in your bedroom, grabbing delicious snacks and sharing funny stories from the past year. The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with the people you cherish the most - regardless of distance!
Extended time spent indoors is a driving cause of holiday blues. With the holidays falling around the shortest day of the year, it is more important than ever to prioritize outdoor activities while the sun is out! Many people are hesitant to brave December weather, but with a sturdy pair or snow boots and a warm pair of mittens, the opportunities are endless. I recommend embarking on a snowy winter hike through a picturesque forest, or encouraging your family to collectively try a new winter sport, such as snowshoeing or ice skating. Fresh air and physical activity will help relieve stress and release endorphins - a great step towards enjoying a happy holiday season.
Plan An Event to Look Forward To
Boredom is a significant contributor to feeling fatigued and gloomy during the holidays. It can be daunting to look ahead at the next weeks without exciting plans, or a daily routine to create a sense of structure. To combat this, I highly recommend setting time aside to plan an event or activity for a group of friends, family, or simply by yourself! This event might be a cookie decorating night, a painting party, or plans to see your favorite new movie. Whether elaborate or simple, having holiday activities etched into your winter calendar are a surefire way to increase motivation, and introduce excitement into your holiday season.
Recharge and Reflect
The most important approach to coping with holiday blues is by treating your mind with kindness. As 2022 comes to a close, you may feel a lingering sense of burnout and fatigue after such an eventful year. It is wise to listen to your body and give it the rest you deserve. Take time to introspect on some of your favorite moments of the year, as well as times that might not have been so easy. Try to learn from mistakes you may have made, and celebrate your personal growth. This might take the form of journaling, or simply reflecting. The holidays are a much needed rest from the chaos of our daily lives - feel free to curl up with your favorite book, listen to your best playlist and recharge for the fantastic year ahead!
About the Author
Kate is a business student at Western University, who enjoys hiking and canoeing in her free time. As the oldest of three sisters, Kate has a passion for sharing advice, and helping girls build a sense of self-confidence.