Help for the Holiday Blues

looking-out-window.gifHolidays 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

  1. Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest. Eat right and remember your regular exercises.
  2. Set realistic goals for spending, time commitments and additional involvements.
  3. Spend time with people who care about you. Express your feelings and need for support.
  4. Maintain as consistent a schedule as possible. Continue your involvement in worship and church functions.
  5. Draw near to God and His throne of grace. Cast all of your burdens on Him, because He cares for you.

Try to avoid…

  1. Going into hibernation! Be careful not to shut down your life or attempt to shut others out.
  2. 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.
  3. Over indulging in holiday foods, especially those that are high in sugar and fat.
  4. Dwelling on the past. It’s water under the bridge. Focus on what gives you hope and confidence. Remember Jeremiah 29:11!
  5. 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

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Christian Living, Christmas, Dealing with Grief, Depression, Family, HOPE, Personal. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Help for the Holiday Blues

  1. Rachel says:

    Wow…it is so amazing at how God put on your heart to share in your blog today exactly what He knew I needed to hear! I have been guilty of hibernating and dwelling in the past after a recent dramatic change in my family life at home. It has affected me greatly, and I have allowed it to affect others around me as well. Satan wants me to relive my past mistakes and blame myself for present circumstances. I take comfort in knowing that God has forgiven my past mistakes, and He remembers them no more! I am going to ask His forgiveness for my present attitude and behavior, and I am going to move forward in faith. I know God has a plan and a purpose for all that is happening in my life right now, and I am going to trust Him to give me the wisdom and strength that I need. The Lord knew that I needed to receive this word that you shared today. Thank you, Bill, for continuing to be God’s servant and messenger. May God bless you!

  2. Dee Andrews says:

    I don’t know you, Rachel, but I’ll pray for you as well after reading your comment. I have suffered from depression many times over the years, although I’m okay right now. Actually, one reason I’m doing so well right now I think is because I’m on an antidepressant since I recognize my own physical, mental and emotional limitations. So, take care Rachel that you not push yourself too far in whatever you are facing to let yourself become debilitated in any way.

    Thanks Bill for the reminder about the holidays. I used to suffer badly at times during the holidays, myself, but right now I think I’m doing well. Yet I watch myself carefully because we have so much going on right now with my health problems, building a house, being in a small apartment full of boxes, being so in transition, etc – all of the things that come with a big move such as we’re making and still dealing with post-Katrina stuff, too.

    So thanks for the quiet, peaceful reminder and practical advice on things we can do to help ourselves and to let God help us. Thanks!

    Cheers! Dee

  3. Bill says:

    This is so cool, Rachel! I’m grateful to God that you have experienced this breakthrough. I’m also deeply appreciative to you for sharing this with the Spiritual Oasis family. Now, everyone has insight into why it is that I love and respect you so much! I imagine that, if we were able to see into heaven’s realm, we would see Jesus smiling right now!
    Blessings,
    -bill

  4. Greg England says:

    The funeral business always picks up in this season of the year. Your blog is right on!

  5. Donna says:

    see, I always fall into my “funk” after the holidays are over…..I have found a cure though…for the last few years we go to the beach for New Years Eve and day….kinda kills the funk!

  6. cwinwc says:

    I’ll be O.K. if it will just turn “cold” (that would be highs in the 60’s) for a while in beautiful downtown West Cocoa, Florida.

  7. Maria Toth says:

    Well done for getting us off to a good start on the first day of advent.

    God bless you this day
    Maria in the UK
    http://www.inhishands.co.uk

  8. Bill,

    Prayer and Scripture reading daily will build a fortress that “the blues” will have a hard time overtaking!

    Blessings,
    Jim

    http://thywordistruth.wordpress.com/

  9. laymond says:

    I believe there are certain things that contribute to winter holiday blues, first the winter in itself is depressing, and we are dissapointed that we can’t give to others what we wish to give.

  10. Bill says:

    Thanks, friends, for all of the insightful comments. Each one is a nugget of wisdom worth taking seriously.

    Blessings,
    -bill

  11. Kathy says:

    A quote from one of the board posters at Mike’s blog pretty well explains my sentiments about Christmas.

    ” Christmas was fun as a kid, tolerable when I had little kids, but pretty painful now. I love the message of Christmas but I hate [I’d prefer to say ‘I don’t like nor care for’ ] the emotion that comes with it now.”

  12. david says:

    holidays are complex and can trigger negative emotions, I am medicated this year, that should help a great deal. Working hard and excercise also help me.
    God Bless you

  13. I made a post with a similar theme yesterday, Bill. Dark Night of the Soul … I posted it for a dear friend but it is not limited to the holiday blues.

    I appreciate your writing and spirit.

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  14. Pingback: Brian’s Preacher’s Pen Blog for Ministers » Blog Archive » Christians and Depression

  15. Melissa says:

    Hey everybody,

    The holidays can be good times and bad times.

    Either way, it’s really emotional.

    If you have lost loved ones, feeling down, want to talk – ANYTHING …I recommend this website:

    http://www.respectance.com/emptyseatblues

    Be well and take care of yourselves.

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