Shake the holiday blues

Credit: Akos Nagy / Shutterstock

The holidays can be an enjoyable time—but not for everyone. Some of us suffer from the blues, whether it’s because we can’t celebrate with family, feel pressured by the holiday cheer, or have a hard time adjusting to the colder, shorter days. Here are some ideas that may help you shake the blues.

  • Treat yourself. Identify something you’ve always wanted to do such as make jewelry, wine, paint, or take a trip! Then research your project, and do it!
  • Create something for others. Hand pint some holiday cards. Make candy bars and wrap the bars individually in something you’ve designed. Design a label for that wine you made and give a bottle to coworkers! Creativity feeds the soul and focuses the mind.
  • Host a casual dinner or pot luck party. Reach out to people you’d like to get to know better. Gathering a few friends for a nice evening at your home can be fun and relatively inexpensive.
  • Limit time you spend on social media. Social networks can be great for connecting but they may also skew how we perceive ourselves and others. We may be fooled into thinking that others’ lives are better than our own.
  • Watch a funny video or film. Play silly or childhood games. Have a costume party. Laughter is a great healer!
  • Practice gratitude. Be thankful for things you have. When you focus on what you have, rather than what you lack, you emanate the energy of abundance.
  • Find something stimulating in each day. Seek challenges at work or in leisure activities.
  • Respect yourself. Engage in positive self-talk. Tell yourself, “I’m OK just as I am,” or “I’m human and I’ll make mistakes.” Reward yourself. Realize that you don’t always have to prove anything or excel over others.
  • Attend to your dreams, sorrows, and beliefs. If you want more time to watch your children grow, don’t play golf with colleagues.
  • Maintain optimism. Reinforce the positive in yourself and others. Develop a sense of humor and learn to laugh at yourself. Enjoy small pleasures such as walking in the park or watching toddlers play.
  • Keep problems in perspective. Mistakes and setbacks can be learning experiences. Accept responsibility of your actions.
  • Relax. Use techniques such as meditation and creative visualization to rejuvenate yourself. Leave worries outside of the bedroom and try to sleep at least seven hours every night.
  • Develop support systems. Cultivate meaningful relationships. These can be built from a variety of people including work associates, neighbors, family members, or club members. Talk about frustrations to trusted individuals, or seek professional advice.
  • Persist. Focus on goals daily. At regular intervals, ask yourself whether your activities are moving you forward.

Additional tips are found in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life (2014).

Dr. Carole Kanchier, career and personal growth expert, is author of the award-winning, best seller, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life (2014). A registered psychologist, coach, speaker, and columnist, Carole Kanchier practices in Calgary: