by Morgan Tims
As the year slowly comes to an end, you will most likely hear the phrase “have a happy holiday” over a million times. Whether that be from a grocery store cashier or your coworkers, have a happy holiday is something you’ll be hearing a lot.
For most people, this isn’t a big deal, but if you’re someone who typically experiences the holiday blues, this can be a bit of a trigger. To help you associate the holidays with joy and beat the blues, keep reading for some tips.
Give back to others
Bringing joy to other people may help bring some happiness to you. It’s nothing better than knowing that you’re making someone’s day or seeing someone smile after something that you’ve done for them.
As it is the holiday season, consider going to a senior living community and visiting an older adult who may not have loved ones to spend the holidays with or participate in one of the many toy drives that occur this time of year. Giving back and connecting with your local community not only can lift someone else's spirits but help lift yours.
Surround yourself with people who care
There are no requirements that say that you have to spend the holidays with a certain group of people. Meaning, if your family isn’t the best for your mental well-being and happiness, you do not have to be around them during this time. This goes for any group of people that may cause you mental distress.
Instead, make sure you’re around people who make you happy and don’t drain your energy. This can be a significant other, your partner's family, or even a group of co-workers. As long as they’re good for your peace of mind, it doesn’t matter who they are.
Talk to someone who can help
If you find yourself struggling, you do not have to struggle alone. There are always people willing to listen and help you through your feelings. You can try online support groups if you want to discuss your feelings with multiple people or you can try a more private session online with a psychiatrist - see For Hims or For Hers - or visit your doctor or a local therapist.
Whatever you decide, make sure you’re open and honest. It’ll help when trying to pinpoint the origin of your holiday blues and the best way to go about changing your situation.
Determine if it’s something else
Sometimes your sadness may be more than just the holiday blues. You might actually be experiencing a condition like seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you started having feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, and sadness around the time the weather began to get colder, it’s a high chance that you are.
To help combat these symptoms and bring some happiness back into your life, try getting yourself a light therapy lamp. These lamps replicate sunlight and can help boost your mood. Or you can keep a journal and write down some things that make you happy during the winter. It may be something as simple as you love the shape of the snowflakes or the way the snow looks on the trees.
Your mental health and happiness matter year-round, so don’t think that these tips are only for the holidays. Utilize them any time that you’re feeling down. You never know how much it might help.