Holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for some people, they are anything but joyous. Holiday Blues can be defined as a temporary persistent or recurring feeling of sadness or anxiety that begins during the holiday season. Some causes associated with the “blues” include extra stress, unrealistic expectations, financial stress, memories that accompany the season, and over-commercialization. The symptoms include sadness, loneliness, fatigue, headaches, sleep disturbances, over-eating, and excessive drinking. These symptoms may worsen during the 2020 holidays due to the current Coronavirus pandemic and increased isolation on top of the usual holiday stress.
There are several ways to beat the “blues”:
– Limit alcohol intake – Take time for yourself
– Get plenty of rest – Make a to-do list
– Learn to say “no” – Listen to music
– Start new traditions – Stick to your routine
– Volunteer – Set a budget
– Get outdoors – Spend time with loved ones
Since holiday blues have a predictable pattern of recurrence, preventive measures may help to reduce symptoms. Some forms of prevention that can help include beginning light therapy in the fall before the onset of symptoms, exercising more, increasing the amount of light at home, meditation, and other stress management techniques. In severe cases, light therapy, antidepressants prescribed by your health care provider, or participating in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has shown to be effective.
Remember the holiday blues are temporary. Be patient and take things day by day.
Berks Community Health Center