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Beating the Holiday Blues

Holiday blues affects Christians and non-Christians as well, and occurs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s; it is accompanied by depression and anxiety symptoms. These symptoms occur because of unrealistic expectations of how families should be, demands of holiday parties and events, financial strain of buying gifts, reminders of past losses, holiday overeating, and the pressure of preparing your home for guests.

Two-thirds of women suffer from holiday blues, and it is common among singles, widows, and couples who are childless. These populations are affected more because most activities are centered on family. It can be a painful reminder to them as they ponder the people they have lost, or the families they have never had.

It is important not to repress how you feel. There is a healthy way to express grief without letting yourself wallow in self-pity. Denying your emotions and stuffing them, can exacerbate depression and anxiety. Some people choose to self-medicate through heavy alcohol and drug use. While some isolate themselves because they do not feel like celebrating. There are some ways to better manage your emotions during this time.

Helpful tips for beating holiday blues:

  1. Own your feelings. Do not deny them but express them through journaling, talking to God about them, and/or allowing yourself times to cry. Crying can be healing and it allows a release from the pain. Do monitor the frequency of crying, if you are crying continually and cannot stop this can be a sign of something more serious.
  2. Do not force yourself to attend every holiday event, party, or social gathering. Pray about the ones that would be uplifting to you, and decline the rest of the invitations. Do what you can do, and do not feel guilty for what you cannot.
  3. Take time for yourself. Take some time to rest, and do something you enjoy.
  4. Take care of yourself. Exercise, preferably walking, this is one of the best exercises to reduce stress and depression. Eat balanced meals with fresh fruits and vegetables. Try as much as possible to stay away from fried foods and sugary sweets. Take a good multi-vitamin and drink plenty of water.
  5. Try not to have unrealistic expectations for your family. Accept them where they are at, and do not compare your family to other families or what you see on those sappy Christmas movies.
  6. Set a realistic budget for buying gifts. Look into baking homemade goods or crafts as gifts.
  7. Keep connected to the life source, Jesus Christ. Have daily time communing with God, and getting quiet before Him. Let God bring you the comfort that you could not receive from anyone else.

As the winter season approaches, it is common for people to have an increase of depressive episodes, most often referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); and then the holiday blues on top of that can be difficult to handle. If you are feeling suicidal or having suicidal thoughts, it is time to have an evaluation by a medical doctor. This is serious, but also very common during these times of the year. Spending time with God can help reduce depression and anxiety, along with praying and surrendering your thoughts.

If you are feeling blue, depressed, anxious, or suicidal, please don’t give up. You are not alone, Jesus Christ who died for all of us, does love you. He does see you and He will bring help. Say out loud, “Jesus Christ does love me and every spirit of depression that is working against me must flee in the name of Jesus Christ.” Keep things in perspective this Christmas, and implement a couple of the tips above to help beat the holiday blues.

 

About Stephanie Reck

Stephanie Reck
Stephanie has a heart and passion to see broken lives restored and redeemed through Jesus Christ. She writes through her personal experiences and her educational and professional background. She has over 17 years experience in counseling, and has a Master's degree in Social Work, Bachelor's degree in Psychology, and is a Licensed Belief Therapist. Stephanie has been married for 16 years,and has one grown son. Stephanie's desire through her writings is to bring hope and encouragement to the body of Christ, that no matter what you have been though or going through, there is restoration and redemption through Jesus Christ.

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2 comments

  1. Avatar

    Stephanie R.

    Wow, what important information and some great strategy for defeating these blues that appear during the holidays. I think something that gets a lot of people is that focus too much on the “want” aspect of the holidays and they become disappointed. I’m talking primarily about the younger generation. However, like you said, it’s not about comparing ourselves to others. Thanks so much for writing this article. God bless.

  2. Avatar

    Joel,
    Thank you for your comments. I know so many people suffer with the “holiday blues,” but if we keep perspective and not focus on the “hustle & bustle” of everyone around us, we can maintain good mental, spiritual, and psysicial health.
    I pray that everyone truly slows down, and reflects on the reason we celebrate Christmas. Stay connected to Christ.
    Merry Christmas and blessings of the Lord be upon you.

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