The clock ticks and it’s now officially the next day. You’re still awake and you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep. After tossing and turning with no sleep in sight, you finally decide to call it quits and succumb to your wired mind, accepting yet another restless and sleepless night.
You decide to open up your Netflix queue to rewatch your favorite TV show, for the fifth time. As you watch the show, you reach for your phone to aimlessly scroll through your social media. Suddenly you find yourself wondering why
everyone’s holidays seems so much happier and more exciting than yours.
Holiday depression is real and quite frankly, it sucks. But it happens to the best of us. Even Taylor Swift wrote a song about it. So I thought it only fitting that I should share this post on Boxing Day aka the day after Christmas. Even though Hanukah and Christmas are over, the holiday season is far from over so without further adieu, let’s jump into the five things I like to do to cure my holiday blues.
Allow Yourself to Escape for a While
Sometimes the holidays can be overwhelming. With the loud chatter of friends and family and the festive music playing on blast, it can be difficult to stay present and carefree. For those already with social anxiety or chronic depression, the holidays can exacerbate these symptoms.
So take a deep breath and sneak up to your room. Don’t worry about explaining yourself. A simple “I need some air” will do. When I myself become overwhelmed, I like to escape to my room, open up Netflix and start binge watching. With TV shows currently on winter hiatus, the holidays are the perfect time to catch up or begin a new show.
Allow Yourself to Not be Ok
It’s ok if you’re not feeling all that happy. Despite it being the holidays, there’s no written rule saying that you have to be happy. God forbid if tragedy strikes and you find yourself feeling out of sorts. It’s ok. Allow yourself to grieve and look at the holidays as a blessing, not a curse. Holidays typically mean a break from work so you don’t have to worry about ‘being fake happy’ at work.
Allow Yourself to be GISHY
Take a page out of Misha Collins’s GISHWHES handbook and engage in some heartwarming, selfless acts. It’s hard to feel blue when you’re out helping others less fortunate than yourself. Seeing their smiles and genuine gratitude will most certainly help you feel not only better about your life but also about the world.
GISHWHES: The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. A competition that urges all of its contestants to create weird and crazy art, engage in heartwarming acts of kindness and attempt amazing yet odd challenges.
Allow Yourself to Seek Out Support
When you feel overcome by emotion, sometimes a hug from a friend or family member is all you need to feel better again. As I mentioned earlier in this post, there’s no point in trying to fake being happy. It only makes things worse. Thankfully, there are always people willing to support you. Friends, family, social media, or even call centers. I currently work with Happy the App and love it. If you’re ever feeling anxious it’s a great way to feel better within minutes. People are willing to listen and support you. You just have to know where to look.
Allow Yourself to Cast Aside All Former Holiday Experiences
Sometimes, one bad holiday season can be enough for you to want to swear off holidays forever. But you can’t let that happen!! Much like everything else in life, holidays are fluid and can change with each year. Just because it was one way one year doesn’t mean it’s that way for the years to come.
I personally struggle with this mindset. Trust me, no one ruminates like I do and I’ve screwed over my present enough times because of this. I’ve started practicing mindfulness to try and keep the past in the past and the future in the future.
But I get it. There’s a lot of tradition that surrounds the holidays. It’s tough to break away from that and not expect something out of the holidays. Still, I hope these five tips will help you with your holiday blues.