Happy Holidays: 5 Tips for Managing the Holiday Blues

With the holidays rolling around the corner, many are excited about building gingerbread houses and unwrapping gifts. However, the festive season isn’t fun for everyone, especially for people feeling the holiday blues. Scroll down to learn more about the holiday blues and what you can do if you have it.

Am I Depressed, or Do I Have the Holiday Blues?

Depression and the holiday blues have many similarities, but they also have their differences. The holiday blues often involve feeling grief over the passing of a loved one, feeling financial stress, or feeling overwhelmed. The holiday blues are usually temporary and go away after the holiday season.

Depression, on the other hand, typically involves feeling sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, and physical symptoms like changes in sleep patterns and appetite. Unlike the holiday blues, depression can last year-round.

There’s also a type of depression called SAD, or seasonal affective disorder. Because sunlight tends to be scarce during the fall and winter months, most people develop SAD. SAD, like the holiday blues, is often temporary, and symptoms go away on their own as the warmer seasons approach.

Jingle All the Way to a Cheerful Season

Having the holiday blues can make you feel lonely. You feel down while everyone else is having a fun time. The good news is that there’s something you can do about it. Below are 5 tips to help you deal with the holiday blues.

1. Practice Self-Care

Make sure you’re getting some physical activity every day, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and getting enough sleep. A healthy body handles stress better than an unhealthy one.

2. Set a Spending Limit

With all the decorations and gifts, the holidays can quickly drain your wallet. Setting a spending limit can help you enjoy the season more without worrying about making excessive payments.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No”

There’s nothing wrong if you’re not in the mood for all the holiday cheer. It’s important to give yourself some space to prioritize your mental health.

4. Don’t Turn to Alcohol

While a cup of booze every now and then is perfectly fine, it becomes a problem when you reach for the bottle every time you feel stressed. When your body is used to alcohol, alcohol’s effect on reducing stress weakens.

5. Engage in an Activity That You Enjoy

Whether it’s watching movies, or hanging out with your pet, engaging in an activity that you enjoy helps keep your mind off things and reduce stress.

When to Consider a Therapist

If none of the tips above helped with your holiday blues, then you should reach out to a therapist. They can help identify what you’re experiencing and plan a course of action.

Staying Jolly through the Holidays

As stressful as the holidays can get, with the tips listed in this post, you’ll be able to manage the holiday blues better.


  • Coping with Holiday Blues. Stony Brook Medicine, 2022.
  • Depression: Causes, Symptoms, Types & Treatment. Cleveland Clinic, 2023.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder. Johns Hopkins Medicine.
  • Alcohol and Cortisol Levels: How Drinking and Stress Are Related. Sana Lake Recovery Center.

Were any of these tips helpful for managing the holiday blues? Tell me in the comments!

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