The holidays are supposed to be the most joyful time of year; however, for many Americans, especially those who have just separated or gotten a divorce, the holidays can cause feelings of mild depression to creep into their lives. According to a recent news report, holiday blues may be caused by a number of factors, including increased stress, unreasonable expectations and disruptions of the person's daily routine.
The first step in dealing with holiday stress is learning to recognize when it has begun to affect your daily life. Some of the most common signs of the "holiday blues" include:
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Feeling sad, lonely, depressed or experiencing a general feeling of dread toward the future
- Difficulty concentrating
- Finding that you do not enjoy activities that you otherwise bring you joy or pleasure
Sources suggest that if you believe that you are experiencing a mild case of the holiday blues you can counteract the feeling by eating well-balanced meals, exercising regularly and getting a sufficient amount of sleep each night. Avoiding excess amounts of alcohol and food, which lead to weight gain and a general sense of dissatisfaction, should also be avoided. Take time for yourself if you need a break from the festivities, but allow yourself to enjoy spending time with your family and loved ones.
Many people discover that their holiday blues pass just as quickly as the holiday season itself. Once life calms back down and you're able to settle into your daily routine, you may find that you feel "normal" again. However, if your "blues" are persistent or severe, you should consider consulting with a medical professional.
Remember that divorce happens for a reason. The holidays can be difficult at first, but they can also be looked at as the perfect time to find the joy in your new situation.
The Huffington Post: "Shaking The Holiday Blues Away," Richard Warshak, Nov. 14, 2011