Written by: Jennifer, Information and Referral Specialist

     The holidays can be a joyous time filled with loved ones, gifts, and memories. It is a time that brings people together and it fills the air with altruism. The weather is cool, homes are cozy, and vacation time is just around the corner. There is usually a positive connotation surrounding the holidays, but many of us know that the holidays are not always as cheery as they should be.

     Affording gifts, coordinating travel, family drama, and so much more can attribute to the stress that is associated with the holidays. Even grief seems to be exacerbated during this time, making the holiday blues even worse. However, there are some tips and tricks provided by Psych Central that you can use to try and combat that yuletide sadness.

  • Remember that you do not need to strive for perfection! This notion that every detail, gift, and meal has to be executed perfectly is a big cause of stress for individuals, but it is not necessary. The holidays are about goodwill and togetherness!
  • Do not be afraid to address the grief that you are feeling. Ignoring it can lead to depression and you deserve to be able to express your feelings!
  • Stress can take its toll on your mind and body; so if you are feeling the pressure, take time to allow yourself to decompress. This rejuvenation will reset your body and you will have the energy you need to get things done.
  • Ask for help! No one said you have to do everything during the holidays. Divvy out responsibilities to those around you and enjoy the teamwork.
  • Plan out your holidays in advance if possible. This will reduce your stress associated with uncertainty and it allows you organize time.
  • Stay warm! Studies show that warmth can improve your mood. So, if you are finding yourself feeling a little down, take a warm bath, drink some hot chocolate, or snuggle up next to the fire place.
  • Lastly, try not to isolate yourself. Loneliness can also cause depression, so try and surround yourself with others. Volunteer your time or reach out to someone else that you know who does not have any holiday plans.

     This season can be difficult, but that does not mean it has to be terrible. As long as you keep self-care in the forefront of your mind, you can handle anything that the holidays might try and throw at you. If you find that self-care is not enough, feel free to reach out to services available to you.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357

Washington State Crime Victim Service Center Hotline: 1-888-288-9221