You’re Not Alone: How to Overcome the Holiday Blues

Overwhelmed Santa

At Alert1, the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy. Yet, 8 out of 10 Americans anticipate stress during the holidays. For many of these people, the stress builds to an overwhelming feeling, commonly known as the ‘holiday blues.’ The holiday blues make the festive season seem more of a drag than a joy. If you are typically plagued by the humbugs, let’s not let feelings get the best of you this year. To overcome the holiday blues, try out these tips to make your holidays more enjoyable.

Avoid Overscheduling

holiday party

From holiday parties to your niece’s ballet recital, there is a lot going on during this time of year. The pressure to say ‘yes’ to everything can be overwhelming.

The best way to keep your schedule manageable is by taking your time to reply to invites and other commitments. Simply tell the inviter that you need to check your calendar and will get back to them. Instead of saying ‘yes’ right away, take a day or two to think it through. Figure out if the event is something you are actually interested in attending.

If you end up saying ‘no,’ don’t feel bad. Instead, find a rewarding activity to do during that time. This will help train your mind to feel less guilty for passing up on events. Take a bubble bath, watch a movie and enjoy some down time. You’ll be rested and renewed to go to the next event you do say yes to.

Stick to a Gift Budget

homemade gift

Overspending on gifts for your loved ones can create financial stress. The pressure to purchase big, exciting gifts is hard to resist. Set a budget before you begin shopping. By doing so, you’ll avoid overspending on gifts throughout the season.

If you are crafty, make your own holiday cards and gifts. There are many easy DIY gifts that take no time at all. For example, chocolate chip cookie baskets or peppermint sugar scrubs are easy to make. You will save money in the long run and your gift will be more meaningful to the recipient. 

Give Back to Get Out of Your Rut

lonely snow

No friends nearby? Can’t make it to be with family this year? The fear of missing out on a good time can be hard to deal with. Avoid staying home by giving back to your community through volunteer work. Soup kitchens and food banks need extra hands this time of year. Offer your hands to make your holidays more fulfilling when you can’t be with loved ones.

Even if you do have holiday plans with family, you can still volunteer. Giving back will boost your mood. Maybe spending time with your family is not all hunky dory. It can be stressful for some to spend extended time with their loved ones. By taking the time to give back, you will be more thankful for the family you have.  

Try Not To Overindulge

The holidays are an excuse to indulge in alcoholic drinks like egg nog and mulled wine. But, drinking in excess can lead you to feel down in the dumps.

Beat the holiday blues and drink in moderation. If you are already prone to feeling down, consider nixing alcohol all together. You may surprise yourself with how good you feel by making that small change.

Overeating can also leave you feeling down. Combat the urge to overeat by setting goals ahead of time. For example, tell yourself that you’ll only try a small plate of finger food at the party. To keep your body feeling good during the holidays, incorporate walks into your routine. A quick walk after dinner or any other large meals will help you feel better this holiday season.  

Spend Quality Time, Not Money, With Loved Ones

DIY snowman ornaments

Spending money on holiday experiences is another way to get you down this time of year. Ice skating rinks, big production ballets, and big holiday festivities are all traps to overspend. Instead of splurging at these places, opt for inexpensive quality time with the family. There are many activities you can do that they will love and won’t cost you much.

  • Make ornaments out of Popsicle sticks or old light bulbs. There are many great ideas for this inexpensive activity online.
  • Go on nature walks. Take your walk a step further by making a list of winter themed things to find. Hunt for bare trees with no leaves, frozen ponds, or anything around your area that is a sight to see.
  • Stay in and enjoy the warmth of an evening of fun. Spread blankets on the floor to enjoy a movie and hot cocoa night. Don’t forget the marshmallows on top!

Stay Away From The Holiday Blues

sad puppy

There are many temptations to stray from your comfort zone during the holidays. Overscheduling, overindulging and overspending will inevitably leave you feeling crummy. So, take extra precautions to say ‘no’ and plan for a holiday season that you will actually enjoy.

The holidays are a busy time. If you have tried these tips and still feel down, reach out to your support system for additional help. They love you and will want to help you feel better.