Beating the Holiday Blues

Shopping / money. Holiday feasts / over indulging. Holiday gatherings / loneliness.

The holidays aren’t always as picture-perfect as they are often portrayed to be, and striving for everything to be “just right” can be stressful. Each year there is so much emphasis on having a perfect Christmas – the perfect gift, the perfect tree, the perfect decorations. When what we fail to realize is that our holidays should be what we make them. With that being said, sometimes we still struggle with anxiety and depression during these festive times of year so if that is you, consider these ways to cope.

  1. Just say no. If an event or a holiday task elicits stress or anxiety, then don’t do it. Overextending your schedule and wallet can bring on challenges that can be avoided by just not doing it.
  2. Practice self-care by doing something for yourself; go for a long walk, mediate, read a book, or take time to yourself.
  3. Treat yourself to those holiday treats, but in moderation, and relieve the guilt by a little more walking or exercise. And if you collect a few pounds over the holidays, jump back into healthy eating with the New Year.
  4. Reach out if you are feeling the blues. Depression is common during the holidays, but understand and know that it’s treatable, and often situational. Don’t be ashamed to talk about holiday grief and loneliness.
  5. Be generous. Not just with gifts, but with kindness, understanding, and appreciation. A small gesture of good will can bring a feeling of purpose, which can make you feel good, but can also make all the difference to someone else who is struggling.

Holidays are a time of love, reflection, gratefulness, and celebration. But not everyone shares in the feelings of happiness and joy. If you are feeling the melancholy of the season, reach out to a trusted friend or counselor. Take care of YOUR needs.

If you or a loved one is experiencing depression or anxiety call Hamilton Community Health Network to find out what services are available, or visit us online at

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