Preparing for the Holiday … Ways to offset Holiday Blues by Living Well Counseling Center

Preparing for the Holiday … Ways to offset Holiday Blues by Living Well Counseling Center

Between Thanksgiving and the New Year is considered the most wonderful, happy time of the year. Families get together, parties are planned, and many look forward to traveling and time off from school or work to celebrate and relax. However, with all the holiday hubbub can come stressful obligations, strained relations, dysfunctional dynamics, loneliness, fatigue, excessive eating, and drinking, and overspending. Combined, these pressures can trigger what some call “the holiday blues.” So how can we prepare for some of the difficulties of the season to reduce our chances of getting a case of the holiday blues?

Start by taking inventory of your relationships and setting reasonable expectations and boundaries. Reflect on whether drama with certain friends or family members are heightened over the holidays. Consider skipping events with toxic relatives, excusing yourself from situations if drama flares up, or asking a spouse or friend to intervene or help shoulder some of the social strain if inappropriate comments start flying.

If loneliness or alienation from family is a trigger for you, make plans with friends who provide comfort and company. Reach out to friends or a professional counselor if loneliness or lack of social support starts to creep in.

Know your energy levels and pace your social obligations to allow for relaxation and self-care. It’s easy to overbook, so try to avoid scheduling events back-to-back. Focus on one or two key holiday social events each week, and leave the days in between free. Save vacation time to use once the New Year arrives to recover from the chaos and reflect on your intentions for the year ahead. Maintain routines and habits like exercise that promote emotional equilibrium, and try to keep alcohol intake in check by having a glass of water between drinks. If obligations mount and become overwhelming, decide what you can politely say no to.

Lastly, be intentional with your budget and watch for overspending triggers that can lead to financial strain. Make a reasonable holiday budget, watch daily spending, and aim to save some funds to cover bills that follow the holidays. If lack of funds to cover holiday costs contributes to your stress, have an open conversation with family about tight finances this year and consider suggesting drawing names or doing Secret Santa gifts.

Preparing for some of the common challenges that arise during the holiday season by proactively managing social interactions and obligations, self-care, and finances can help protect you against the holiday blues. With intentional planning, balancing, and boundary-setting, you’ll be ready to roll with the holiday punches.

At Living Well Counseling Center, we provide holistic care and services to both men and women. We work with our clients to help improve their lives while providing a nurturing environment where one can achieve their present and future goals. We offer individualized therapy to men and women ages fifteen and older. If you or a loved one suffer from depression, get in touch today.

TELEPHONE: (732) 440-9330


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