The holidays can most clearly be seen as “the most wonderful time of the year.” It’s easy to see why. Everywhere you go you see lights, parties, homemade food, fellowship, and happiness this time of year. The holidays are a joyous time for many, but not everyone finds it this way. Amid the excitement and business, many people are experiencing lots of sadness this time of year.
There are a lot of reasons for the “holiday blues.” For some it is the loss of a loved one, whether this be their first Christmas without them, or reminiscing on a loved one who has been gone for quite some time. For others, it could be a mental problem such as seasonal depression, which makes people’s moods swing downwards during this time of year. A large cause of this being the cold weather and it getting dark earlier in the day, but other issues can affect this as well. Some may be sad due to poor relationships with family members, being alone during this time, having a difficult time in their spiritual life during Christmas, or any number of other reasons.
Regardless of the cause, I have a few suggestions for those of you who may feel a little less than merry this holiday season. Here is 8 tips for combating your holiday blues:
1. Look at Christmas Lights
Many people put up lights outside their houses, work buildings, or main areas of your town such as downtown, the library, courthouse, etc. This is a great way to lift your spirits! Many people have said that Christmas lights lower their anxiety/depression, though research has yet to figure out exactly why. This is especially good if you have seasonal depression, because light therapy is a popular technique used to help with that. Seeing all the pretty lights is such an easy way to smile!
2. Listen to Christmas Music
Another sensory item, listening to Christmas music can make you feel festive and excited! Search online for your favorite Christmas staples and you are sure to be in a better mood! Find Christmas songs that keep you in the holiday spirit, and avoid the songs that may remind you of whatever is bringing you down. Many classic Christmas songs can turn a mood around, and soon, you’ll be rocking around the Christmas tree!
3. Make a Gift for Someone You Love
Arts and crafts are a fantastic distraction and mood booster! Making something with your own two hands can be a very relaxing way to spend a few hours of your day. Plus you will feel very good giving that gift to someone that you care about! You can even find simple crafts to do with young ones if you want to do a craft with your whole family! Homemade gifts are a wonderful way to say, “I love you.”
While some say baking soothes them, others say it makes them stressed. So, only bake something if it is going to improve your mood and make you happy! There are millions of recipes online for different desserts to make, ranging from easy to difficult, and there are even Christmas themed desserts you could try making!
5. Decorate Christmas Cookies and Gingerbread Houses
Going hand in hand with baking, decorating foods can be a very fun way to relax and get creative! Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses are some of the most popular items to decorate over the holidays. This is one of my personal favorites! Baking cookies and decorating them can really put you in the Christmas spirit! Gingerbread house decorating competitions can be a great way to get the whole family involved and spend quality time together. Once again, doing these hands on items has proven to be a very good way to improve people’s moods.
6. Try Holiday Specials at Restaurants
There aren’t many things a Peppermint Mocha flavored drink can’t cure. If drinking/eating something good is something that normally helps lift your spirits, consider trying a holiday exclusive item at a restaurant you love! For instance, Coca-Cola comes out with new Coke holiday mixes every year, Chick-Fil-A sells Peppermint milkshakes, Starbucks does many special coffees such as the Gingerbread Latte, and many stores sell various holiday exclusives such as Christmas tree shaped Little Debbies. Sometimes all it takes is a special snack to help you feel better!
It’s hard to want to work out when it’s freezing outside, but exercise is always a great way to increase endorphins and put you in a better mood no matter the weather! Plus, during the holidays, there are lots of fun holiday themed fun runs and 5ks. There are even some where you wear Christmas attire to, like an ugly Christmas sweater!
8. Go to a Christmas Service at your Local Church
I truly believe in the power of Christ in healing all sadness and troubles. Christmas services are absolutely beautiful and can be a great source of community, which is especially important for helping people who are dealing with sadness during the holidays. One of the most comforting things for people who are sad is knowing they are not alone, they are loved, and that they matter. Church is one of the best ways to help show them this.
This of course is not an exhaustive list. There are many other ways to deal with holiday blues and it is up to each person to find what works best for them!
While the holidays are lots of fun and enjoyable, we cannot forget that the holidays can be a time of terrible sadness and pain for many people. Let’s remember to spread joy and be kind to all people because we don’t know what people are dealing with during the holidays.