December 20, 2022
While the holidays are often associated with colorful lights and cheerful music, the reality is that sometimes "the most wonderful time of the year" could also be the most difficult for some.
It may come as a surprise, but according to a survey by ValuePenguin, 55% of Americans struggle with loneliness during the holidays.
While you may wonder, "how can the holiday cause loneliness if it's all about celebrating with family and friends?" Well, there are several reasons for this. From shopping around for the perfect gift to not being able to celebrate the holidays with a loved one, the reality of the holidays can look different than what we expect them to be. And when we feel pressured to celebrate the way we believe everyone else is, it can often trigger feelings of isolation and loneliness.
They call it the "Holiday Blues."
If you are feeling down this holiday season, know that you are not alone. Many people feel melancholy during this time of year for reasons that may be difficult to understand. Luckily, the holiday blues are seasonal and last from November until just a bit after the new year.
Regardless if you love the holidays (or not), the holiday blues can affect anyone. Understanding why it can happen is an excellent start to learning how to manage your thoughts and prepare for the holidays, both emotionally and mentally.
Several things can trigger the holiday blues. A few common triggers include:
1. Stressing about family gatherings. Sometimes, they can become a hosting site for family arguments and disagreements.
2. The holidays can be difficult for those experiencing financial stress, such as those who have lost their jobs. Depending on your financial situation, you may be unable to afford gifts and presents. The holidays can be difficult for those experiencing financial stress, such as those who have lost their jobs.
3. Losing a loved one and not being able to celebrate the holidays with them.
4. Taking on the pressure to make sure everything is perfect. This can include wanting the ideal gift for someone, ensuring that the home is decorated just in time for Christmas Eve, and ensuring that all invites are distributed to the entire family, to name a few.
Luckily, the holiday blues are only temporary, but you can do a few things to help you get through this season.
Acknowledge How You Feel - Even though the holidays should be joyful and cheery, it is okay when you aren't. It's normal to go through different waves of emotions during the holidays.
Exercise - Exercising is known to increase your mood, combat stress positively, and make you feel good.
Stay Connected - The holidays can be draining; for some people, this means withdrawing from others. Although spending time alone is fine, schedule a time to be with others, even through a phone call. Staying connected will help you feel less isolated.
Get Rid of Holiday Expectations- Having too high or unrealistic expectations for the holidays can do more harm than good. If you've taken part in any holiday celebration, you know that they can sometimes get overwhelmingly filled with things that "should" or "must" be and can be draining. If necessary, plan out the season without needing to attend every holiday party you get invited to and let go of the idea that everything needs to be perfect.
Be Kind To Yourself - The holidays come with expectations, and we can feel slightly disappointed when those expectations are not met. Regardless, be kind to yourself when things don't happen as planned.
Talk To A Hapi Listener - The holidays can be lonely for some people, and for others, they can be stressful. Talking about your situation and feelings is a great way to decompress and connect. If you feel lonely during this time and want to connect with a friendly listener, download the Hapi App.
You aren't alone if you feel down during this time of year. The holiday blues can happen to anyone. Luckily, these feelings are only for a season.
Acknowledging your feelings during this time can help you identify how you feel while mentally and emotionally preparing yourself for a holiday.
Talking about it can also help you recognize your feelings. If you need someone to talk to, connect with a Hapi Listener by downloading the Hapi Talker App.