The holidays are typically a time that is associated with joy, laughter, gatherings, and celebration. However, for some, the holidays area time filled with isolation, introspection, irritability, sadness, andloneliness. Holiday blues are feelings of sadness during the holiday season, particularly during November and December.

What causes holiday blues?

Holiday blues affect people differently and the causes vary from person to person. Some sources of holiday blues include:

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Financial stress
  • General stress
  • Fatigue
  • Social isolation
  • Grief from missing loved ones
  • Cultural expectations
  • Changes in routine
  • Short days and lack of sunlight
  • Pressure to fulfill obligations
  • High expectations

Tips for managing holiday blues:

  • Set  realistic expectations for the holiday season and do not take on more  responsibility than you can handle.
  • Make a list and prioritize the most important tasks.
  • Set boundaries on what you can and cannot do.
  • Budget and keep track of holiday spending.
  • Write a gratitude list and think of at least one positive thought daily.
  • If you feel lonely or isolated, volunteering can provide a sense of     connection and comfort.
  • Try to build new memories and celebrate the holidays in a way that is     meaningful to you.
  • Seek support if you are mourning the loss of a loved one.
  • Remember that it is okay to ask for help from family and friends.
  • Get out of the house and change your atmosphere. Going for a walk or eating     lunch at a park bench could interrupt the cycle of holiday blues. 
  • Check-in with yourself and carve out time to participate in self-care.

If you are overwhelmed or experiencing sadness, loneliness, isolation, or irritability during the holiday season, seek support from family or friends. Holiday stress is common and others around you may also struggle with coping with the holiday season. Finding others who can relate to us can normalize our feelings and create a sense of support. Make sure to also reach out to Osceola Community Health Services and inquire about our behavioral health program. You do not have to go through these stressors alone.