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Beating the Holiday Blues

November 21, 2021

Do you get the holiday blues, or experience symptoms of depression or anxiety around this time of year? If so, you’re not alone -- each year around the holidays, many people experience mixed emotions tied to the expectations and obligations of the season. For some, the holidays are not a season of joy, but something much more complicated and emotional.

Try these ways to beat the blues: 

Check your dashboard. Just like the dashboard on your car gives you indicators for what is needed for optimal operation, our physical and emotional health indicate how well we’re functioning. Give yourself a quick check:

  • How is my energy level (fuel)? 
  • What are my emotions telling me (temperature)? 
  • Do I need to slow down (speedometer)? 
  • How would I know when to reach out for support (check engine light)?
  • Do I need some space (adjust your mirrors)?

The genius of the dashboard is that it’s telling you something, but you have to notice it first!

Go back to the basics. Famed psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs prioritizes human needs into a pyramid beginning with basic needs (food, water, oxygen, warmth, rest). Start here. Check your eating habits, water intake, and sleep habits. Next, evaluate your safety and stability, followed by relationships. Addressing basic needs will help keep you on course.
Practice self-care. Self-care is something we deliberately do to take care of our mind, body, and spirit. You’ll need to decide what this means to you. Does it mean minimizing stress during the holiday season? Or, eating healthy, maintaining an exercise routine, setting boundaries, or finding alone time to relax and unwind?
Ask for help. The holiday season can be overwhelming. Remember, your Mass4you employee assistance program (EAP) is here to help you beat the blues. Call 844-263-1982 for locating additional resources that may be helpful to you.