Holiday Blues you say? Aren’t the holidays supposed to be the happiest time of the year??
Most of us have experienced “the Blues” at one time or another. However, it seems the holiday season can bring on a special “edition” of the blues for various reasons.
Perhaps, you are missing a loved one who has passed away. Or for whatever reason, you are far away from family and friends and can’t see them. Maybe you’ve lost a beloved pet and you are feeling the emptiness. Money problems may come up at the holiday times, especially if you cannot afford to give generous gifts to loved ones that you wish you could. Or maybe, during a holiday gathering, hurtful words were spoken or you received harsh criticism form a family member.
All these things seem to affect us as stress more around the holidays than any time of year. So, what can you do? Here are 5 tips to help you get through your holiday blues:
Tip #1: Practice Self-care
Self-care can chase away the “Holiday Blues” and lift your spirits. Make time to do what you love and enjoy! It could be as simple as taking a walk, outside in nature. Or spend some time in a luxurious bubble bath with candles all around you.
If you can afford it, maybe buy yourself a holiday gift. Even something inexpensive like a bouquet of flowers could give your mood a boost. Maybe a gym membership is what you need to get out of the house and be around other active people. Perhaps you could even get a massage at a local spa. YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Tip #2: Volunteer
Volunteering is also a great way to lift your spirits and it can help you appreciate everything you have in your life, and it makes you feel good because you are giving back. You can do this alone at a local food bank or animal shelter, or you can make it an event and include your family or friends. This can be a huge gift, not only to the people you serve, but also to yourself.
Tip #3: Shift Your Mindset, Strike a Pose
The Key to beating the “Holiday Blues” is MINDSET. Shift your mood by shifting your mindset. Be determined to love yourself no matter what! You are powerful, loveable, and worthy. Here are some quick and easy way to feel powerful — by using power postures.
Plant your feet firmly on the floor, a little wider than hip width apart. Place your hands at the sides of your hip and puff up your chest — this is the Wonder Woman posture.
This will discharge testosterone, decrease cortisol (the stress hormone) and increase oxytocin (the love hormone). This is a good way to feel confident, powerful and to make yourself feel sexy as well.
Another posture is to create a victory sign with your whole body by raising your arms in a V above your head. Even monkeys and gorillas are known to take this posture when they feel powerful. But they bend their knees. (So don’t bend your knees if you don’t want to look like a monkey!)
Tip #4: Write it down
When you’re in the middle of the blues, it may be hard to remember the positives. Gratitude is a great way to increase positivity. Make a list of all the things in your life that you are grateful for! And if it’s a person, don’t be afraid to express your gratitude to them. You might find out they are just as thankful for you as you are for them.
You can also make a list of things you enjoy or that bring happiness that you can refer to when the blues hit. Being aware of what makes you happy is the first step to making progress in that direction.
Get creative and make a gift for yourself. Decorate a beautiful box in which you could place slips of paper – or love notes to yourself – with the sayings, affirmations and phrases that make you feel good. Some families do this around Thanksgiving and each member contributes something they are thankful for.
Tip #5: Take Action
Get moving! The best way to build positive momentum is to do something. It can be a big or small action, whatever you feel you are able to do. Maybe it’s getting some physical exercise, visiting a friend, or taking a look at your finances and setting a holiday budget so you don’t go overboard. Whatever it is, doing something might be the first step in overcoming your stress and the blues.
Be mindful of your needs. If social situations are the cause of your stress, don’t overbook yourself! Make sure to schedule some downtime to snuggle with your pet, listen to music, watch a funny movie, or read a good book. Laughter is a great way to boost endorphins!
Finally, think about life, after the holidays. Make future plans for yourself so you have something to look forward to once the tree is gone and the presents are opened. Having something to look forward to is a great way to remind yourself that the holiday blues won’t last forever.
These are just a few quick and easy ways to deal with your daily stress. To beat the “Holiday Blues” remember to gift yourself with things that will make you feel happier and loved. Seek professional guidance if the blues persist.
To Schedule an appointment, Contact Dr. Michiyo: (925) 389-8233