Holiday blues start with the approach to Thanksgiving and last until the end of the year. During this period, many people suffer from loneliness, fatigue, sadness, anxiety and stress. These sets of emotional experiences are known as the “Holiday blues. “ Many factors trigger these emotions, such as facing the demands of shopping, especially at a time where many people are facing a financial crisis and unemployment. Some people also experience a period of melancholy as they remember family members and friends that are no longer around. Other factors that can contribute to the holiday blues can be: family reunions, travel, office parties, and high expectations.
Holiday blues need to be distinguished from major depression; which lasts for at least six months and even years. It is more severe. Holiday blues on the other hand tend to be transient and they start dissipating when the holiday period ends.
One holiday plan that may prevent the blues is to improve self care, look for support from others, be in the here and now, have realistic expectations for yourself and others, prioritize, declare a period of amnesty with family members you may be facing during the holiday reunions. That means that one must set aside any existing resentments. If your financial situation is such that you cannot afford going shopping for presents; you can still be creative by giving home made coupons for personally doing something for people you care about; like an hour massage, washing the dishes for your wife, bringing breakfast to bed. You can also create presents with found objects like painting a rock that can become a paperweight, or writing a caring and loving message. Remember do not spend money that you do not have.
~ Dr. Estella Sneider, PhD