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If anything can stir up a range of emotions, I believe the period between Thanksgiving and New Year more than likely wins by a landslide! Those hectic weeks that make up the latter part of the year can be joyous, exhausting, fun-filled, dread-filled, satisfying, empty, full of family, no family, over-extended, busy, lonely and the list could go on. Everything can seem to be going fine and then all of a sudden we find ourselves in the midst of a crowd with Christmas music and decorations all around and hate to admit that our joy has flown out the window. Some have labeled this conundrum as “Holiday Blues” and these blues are a real nuisance to many of us who are celebrating the holidays this year. There are a number of reasons that we experience these sad feelings and the purpose of this article is not to explore those reasons, but to try and offer some solutions if you are one of those who are facing a bout of “Holiday Blues” this Christmas Season.

1. Don’t be afraid to say “NO”. Many times we over-extend ourselves because we feel we HAVE to attend every gathering, but it is okay to decline and do something YOU want to do.

2. Invite a friend or friends to go out to eat or have coffee.

3. Know what your “triggers” are and if at all possible, try to avoid them. If you can’t avoid them, then be sure to find someone to talk with you about them. Sometimes having a prayer partner helps more than anything when difficult times arise during the holidays.

4. Do some volunteer work. Many organizations or groups have Christmas outreaches and are in need of extra help.

5. Start new traditions.

6. Pamper yourself.

7. Expect a few disappointments. Celebrations do not always go as planned so try to look for the positive and realize that everything doesn’t have to be perfect.

8. Take time to exercise and get proper rest.

9. Don’t forget to make time for quiet time and devotions.

The above ideas are not exhaustive. Perhaps you have a suggestion that has worked for you that isn’t listed here and if so, we would love to hear it! I am thankful that most of the time, “Holiday Blues” tend to lift shortly after the Holidays are over. However, if you find that you are having trouble getting back into your regular routine, do not be afraid to reach out to your doctor or counselor to find out if what you are experiencing is something more than “Holiday Blues”.

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Are you in need of Help?

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Dr. Nkechi Ukomadu
DNP, APRN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC

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Renay West
MS, Counseling Psychology, Clinical Counselor

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www.renaywest.com

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Dolly Thomas, Ph.D.

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Deborah Prihoda
Chaplin

Specializes in grief, trauma and crisis and marriage.  Critical Incident Stress Management training both individual and Group (CISM)

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