Guidance from DHHS on Beating the Holiday Blues

Guidance from DHHS on Beating the Holiday Blues: Useful Tips to Navigate the Season with Joy

Guidance from DHHS on Beating the Holiday Blues: Useful Tips to Navigate the Season with Joy

Holiday Wellness: DHHS Recommendations for Preventing Seasonal Blues


- The holiday season is often hailed as a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. However, for many individuals, it can also bring about feelings of stress, loneliness, and sadness, commonly known as the "holiday blues." Factors such as unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, and the emphasis on family and social gatherings can contribute to these emotions. To ensure a happy and fulfilling holiday season, it's essential to be proactive in preventing the holiday blues. Here are some practical tips to navigate the season with joy.

1. Set Realistic Expectations: The picture-perfect holiday often portrayed in media can create unrealistic expectations. Remember that it's okay if everything doesn't go exactly as planned. Embrace imperfections and focus on the positive moments rather than striving for perfection.

2. Manage Finances Wisely: Financial stress can be a significant contributor to holiday blues. Establish a budget for gifts, decorations, and festivities. Consider alternatives like homemade gifts or thoughtful gestures that don't break the bank. The true spirit of the season lies in meaningful connections, not extravagant spending.

3. Prioritize Self-Care: Amidst the hustle and bustle, don't forget to take care of yourself. Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Whether it's reading a book, taking a long bath, or going for a walk, prioritize self-care to recharge your mental and emotional well-being.

4. Connect with Loved Ones: While the emphasis on family gatherings can be challenging for those who are geographically distant or have strained relationships, find ways to connect. Schedule video calls, send heartfelt messages, or participate in virtual celebrations to maintain a sense of connection.

5. Volunteer and Give Back: Engaging in acts of kindness can significantly boost your mood. Consider volunteering at local charities or participating in community events. Giving back not only helps those in need but also provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment during the holiday season.

6. Create New Traditions: If the traditional holiday celebrations bring more stress than joy, consider creating new traditions that align with your preferences and values. Whether it's a quiet night in with close friends, a movie marathon, or a weekend getaway, tailor your holiday experience to bring you genuine happiness.

7. Seek Support: If you find yourself struggling with the holiday blues, don't hesitate to seek support. Reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional. Talking about your feelings and experiences can be cathartic, and you may discover that others share similar sentiments.

8. Practice Mindfulness: Embrace the present moment by practicing mindfulness. Focus on the positive aspects of the holiday season, savoring the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Mindful practices, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help alleviate stress and enhance your overall well-being.

the grandeur of the festivities but the meaningful moments shared with loved ones that truly define the spirit of the season.

- LINCOLN, Nebraska - In the midst of the holiday season, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) underscores the importance of self-care. According to Tony Green, Interim Director of DHHS Division of Behavioral Health, the holiday rush often leads people to neglect activities that bring them joy. Green advises taking proactive steps to prevent stress or the holiday blues.

- The holiday blues, characterized by temporary feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression during the festive season, can be triggered by various factors such as unrealistic expectations, separation from loved ones, and financial strain, as noted by DHHS.

To combat the holiday blues, DHHS offers practical tips:

1. Acknowledge and Share Your Feelings: Recognize and express your emotions. If the holiday season brings emotional challenges, it's essential to acknowledge and share your feelings with others. Opening up can be therapeutic and help in processing emotions.

2. Plan Ahead: Anticipate and prepare for commitments with co-workers, friends, and family. Planning, especially for those hosting events, includes creating a menu and grocery list to stay organized amid the holiday chaos.

3. Learn to Say No: Understand that it's okay to decline holiday commitments. Saying no can alleviate stress. Share your to-do list with family or friends, seeking their assistance with tasks to lighten the load.

4. Create a Relaxing Environment: Foster a calming atmosphere by playing music, lighting candles, or enjoying the sunlight. Research suggests that activities like listening to music, the aroma of citrus, and increasing vitamin D intake contribute to a sense of well-being.

5. Maintain Healthy Habits: Encourage friends and family to prioritize health by incorporating short walks or quick workouts into the holiday routine. Ensure healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available.

6. Be Realistic: Set realistic expectations for the holiday season to reduce stress. Let go of the pursuit of perfection and focus on enjoying the company of loved ones.

7. Take a Break: Don't neglect personal needs. If stress mounts, take breaks through activities like napping, short walks, reading, or watching a light-hearted movie. These actions can relieve stress and enhance holiday enjoyment.


- In closing, DHHS emphasizes that while everyone experiences occasional unhappiness or lack of motivation, persistent symptoms disrupting daily life should prompt individuals to seek help from a doctor or mental health professional. Taking proactive steps to safeguard mental well-being ensures a more enjoyable and fulfilling holiday season.

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