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This time of year is filled with parties and celebrations, but it isn’t necessarily a “holly jolly” Christmas for everyone.  The holiday season can be a very difficult time for many, who might feel lonely, anxious or depressed this time of year.  Even if you are going to a bunch of get-togethers and are anticipating a bunch of great presents, the expectations associated with Christmas can often be difficult and overwhelming.  A “blue Christmas” isn’t just a song, but a harsh reality for many.

So how can you beat the holiday blues?  Here are few tips:

– Volunteer.  There are so many opportunities at Christmas time to make a difference and you’ll find that when you look outside of yourself to focus on helping someone else, you’ll often feel better, too.

– Don’t overdo it.  Whether it’s food or alcohol, going to unhealthy things isn’t a great way to cope and just lead to you feeling worse.

– Get Out.  If you are sad, you might think it’s easier to stay home alone, but even introverts are relationally-wired. Getting out of your home and being around people can make you feel better.  Or make it a point to invite people over to your home.

– Feel what you feel.  If you feel sad or angry, that’s okay.  Accept those feelings – don’t deny them.  At the same time, make it a point to not live there in those feelings.  Be kind to yourself and look to move forward.  Talk to someone, too.

For those of you not feeling down, keep your eyes open for those who might be struggling this time of year.  Reach out to them, be a good listener and include them in your Christmas celebrations.


Photo Credit: Getty Images/AntonioGuillem