This time of year, shopping, social events, debt and other pressures can lead to anxiety. Even if you’re not prone to depression, you may have other symptoms, such as headaches, tension, and fatigue. Also, changes from your everyday routine can cause you to neglect good nutrition, and you are more likely to skip exercise. Together, these factors can lead to what is known as the holiday blues.
It’s also common to feel a letdown after the holidays are over. Hectic days can leave you feeling physically and emotionally drained. You may feel a sense of loss or frustration, which can also turn into the blues.
Don’t confuse holiday blues with clinical depression. Clinical depression is a disorder that may need the care of a psychologist, and possibly even medication to overcome. In contrast, the holiday blues could need something as simple as a good listener, an outdoor walk, or a better diet.
There is also a tendency to link the holiday blues with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a diagnosable problem linked to fewer hours of sunlight during the winter. People with the holiday blues might also have SAD, but the two are not directly related.
So what should you do if you have the holiday blues? You might ease them by getting enough rest. People tend to lose sleep during the holidays and end up shortchanging
themselves. Lack of sleep can cause cloudy thinking, irritability, and it can hamper your ability to deal with everyday stress.
In addition, if you find yourself in a holiday related funk, try eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, taking an afternoon walk or hike, and visiting with friends.
The holiday blues can be quite common, but if you are feeling especially down—for example, your sleep or your appetite is affected—contact your healthcare provider for advice
The 2019 Peninsula Holiday Survival Guide is here! Whether your concerns are about family gatherings, budget constraints, overindulging in holiday feasts, too much busy-ness, or the “holiday blues,” our 2019 Holiday Survival Guide can help put some “ho-ho-ho” back into the season.
Download a free copy at: PeninsulaBehavioralHealth.org/guide