A No-Fail Plan for the Holiday Blues

SadBFShe used to host Thanksgiving dinner for her family. Every year–22 people. This year? “It’s at someone else’s house,” she said with a smile.

“Passing the torch!” said Pamela Jones-Brice, director, Employee Assistance Program for Westchester County, NY. “Smart move.”

Jones-Brice has numerous tips for both recognizing that this “joyous” time of year may cause many to feel sadness, frustration or simply being overwhelmed–and for doing something about it!

Her first recommendations: 1) Acknowledge your feelings (“It’s okay to feel sad; it’s human”, 2) Try to identify what about the holidays may trigger them “It may be family, the recent loss of a friend or family member, or as mundane as putting up the Christmas tree”, 3) Be realistic about your expectations for the next few weeks (“ladies, we love to think we can do it all, but Superwoman was a fictional character”).

She offered several more valuable tips for managing the “blues,” such as:

* Pace yourself (“especially shopping; you don’t to get it all done on Black Friday”)

* Scale back decorating (“Get a smaller tree”)

* Take a break from holiday music (“We started hearing it in store three weeks ago! ”)

* Keep your routines (“Especially regarding exercise and your bedtime”)

* Allow yourself to have fun with friends and family (“After dinner cleaning the kitchen can wait!”).

Depression and holiday sadness are serious issues. they affect more people than you might imagine. If you find yourself overcome with feelings that bring you down, they do not have to ruin your time of celebration. And if you acknowledge them, and do something to address your feelings, they won’t.

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