St. Mary's Co. Take Control of the Holidays


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Staff member
dinner table in front of a Christmas tree
While the holidays are a great opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends, for many people, the holidays can be a depressing time when they get the holiday blues. Feelings of sadness, loneliness, and anger can intensify when contrasted with the joy expected of the holidays. We often have higher expectations for this season than for any other time of the year.

Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to extra stress. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.

Everyone has a vision of the perfect holiday, but when reality fails to live up to the dream, stress can result.
Helpful Tips for the Holiday Season

Set realistic expectations. No holiday celebration is perfect. A lopsided tree or a burned side dish won’t ruin your holiday — it will create a family memory.

Be proactive. If you are concerned about potentially difficult conversations at family gatherings, such as during the holidays, remember these events are about bringing people together, not driving them apart. Plan activities that foster fun and laughter, such as playing a family game or looking through old photo albums.
text with tips for avoiding Holiday Blues

Keep things in perspective. On the whole, the holiday season is short. If something goes wrong, realize it’s not the end of the world.

Remember what’s important. Commercialism can overshadow the true sentiment of the holiday season. Remind yourself that family, friends and relationships are what matter most.

Take time for yourself. You may feel pressured to be everything to everyone. Remember that you’re only one person and can only accomplish certain things. Sometimes self-care is the best thing you can do — others will benefit when you’re feeling less stressed. Reflect on aspects of your life that give you joy; go for a long walk; get a massage; or listen to your favorite music or read a new book.

Get help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help, whether from your support system or a mental health professional.

Additional Resources

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