Holidays are supposed to be a joyful time of good cheer and optimistic hopes. Yet, it is not unusual for some of us to feel sad or lonely during the holiday period—a condition that has come to be called the holiday blues.
There are many root causes for holiday blues. The symptoms may mimic clinical depression. While they may be intense and unsettling, holiday blues are usually short-lived, lasting for a few days to a few weeks prior to or just after the holiday. If we are wrestling with mental health issues beyond these, it is time to seek professional help.
The good news is, holiday blues usually subside after the holiday season is over and daily routines are resumed. Nevertheless, there are many things that can and should be done to keep from becoming overwhelmed by the holiday blues.
Most importantly, remember that it is normal to experience some down-days during this stress-filled time of the year. Some additional recommendations are:
Try to remember to…
- Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest. Eat right and remember your regular exercises.
- Set realistic goals for spending, time commitments and additional involvements.
- Spend time with people who care about you. Express your feelings and need for support.
- Maintain as consistent a schedule as possible. Continue your involvement in worship and church functions.
- Draw near to God and His throne of grace. Cast all of your burdens on Him, because He cares for you.
Try to avoid…
- Going into hibernation! Be careful not to shut down your life or attempt to shut others out.
- Over committing yourself. Be aware that it’s very easy to attempt to do too much, thus setting yourself up for further frustration and dissapointment.
- Over indulging in holiday foods, especially those that are high in sugar and fat.
- Dwelling on the past. It’s water under the bridge. Focus on what gives you hope and confidence. Remember Jeremiah 29:11!
- Making rash decisions about life or your life-plans. Remember to trust in the Lord with all of your heart and not to lean on your own understand. (cf. Proverbs 3:5)
With these things in mind, we can move into the next few weeks with a sense of well-being. We can also focus on the real reason for the season.
© Bill Williams
November 30, 2006