We’ve all been there – or will be – at some point during our lives: feeling the holiday blues when the rest of the world hustles and bustles around us without a care in the world. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one in the past year or you’re in a financial hard place or this holiday season just hasn’t lived up to your expectations. Whatever the reason for your feeling down in the dumps, here are some ways that you can beat the holiday blues this year:
Keep your home well-lit. While you may feel like you want your surroundings to match your mood, letting in the light can be important to your overall well-being. While keeping overhead lights on is important, be sure to open those blinds and curtains to allow natural light to fill your home on a daily basis.
Play music. Noise of any kind can help you to feel as though you are not alone but music can certainly play a huge part in bringing joy into your home. Holiday music or upbeat instrumental songs can be helpful to listen to without being overstimulating.
Don’t run from memories of the past. You may feel as though some holiday traditions will hold too many painful memories, but don’t forget that they may hold some happy memories as well. Seeing or doing things from past holiday seasons may even help you process some of your loss and/or sadness.
Get moving. Exercising releases endorphins which have been proven to boost your mood. Even a brisk walk around the neighborhood or doing some quick and simple exercises in your home can get your heart rate up, increase your mood and give you a feeling of accomplishment.
Start new traditions. You may not be able to continue past family traditions because of your circumstances, but don’t let that stop you from starting new traditions. This can give you something to look forward to year after year.
Give yourself what you need. Some well-meaning people may tell you that you need to get out and socialize more, but this may feel unbearable at times. Think about what gives you energy and carve out time to do that. For some that may mean being around people while doing something meaningful by yourself could be life-giving for others.
Talk to someone about it. If your feelings of sadness or loneliness last for more than a few weeks, it may be time to seek professional help. There are many different methods that professionals can use to help so that you aren’t battling the blues throughout the year!