💙 Everybody has the blues, sometimes.
Almost 50% of us at this time of year, to be specific. The holiday week between 🎄 Christmas and 🎊 New Year’s Day can be a difficult one. Of course some of us have joyful feelings and good memories, but others feel lonely, sad, empty, or not physically well, among other feelings. There can be many reasons for the holiday blues, but the important thing is to recognize how you feel and take active steps to support yourself.
Here are six tried and true strategies.
1-Stay away from comparison 👋 (bye bye socials).
We often compare ourselves to what we think others have or don’t have. But we don’t know what is going on inside someone’s life. Stay away from social media, conversations about plans for the holidays, and even holiday cards if needed to avoid this desire to compare oneself to others.
2-Lower the bar 📊 (because expectations are everything).
When we set unrealistic expectations for ourselves, we set ourselves up to fail. None of our plans will go perfectly and that is totally OK. Give yourself a little grace and acknowledge that making little mistakes is just human.
3-Structure your day 🗓️ (even if it involves planning out your movie schedule).
Give structure to your day with activities you can both do and enjoy. Experts call this behavioral activation and there is a good deal of evidence to suggest that doing things makes us feel better, even when we are feeling down.
4-Get connected with people 🧑🤝🧑 (because loneliness hurts us all).
Engage in meaningful interaction, whether virtual or safely in person. Focus on having good quality time rather than a longer amount of time. Even a 5 minute phone call can help you feel uplifted. If your friends and family are not free, consider taking time to help others, whether it be a neighbor needing help shoveling snow or by virtually donating or attending an event.
5-Take care of your body 🤸♀️(because it’s hard to feel better if you aren’t prioritizing your basic needs).
It is important to set the foundation for your well being. Make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep, eat nutritious meals 2-3 times per day, drink enough water, move your body (even if it is just 10 minutes a day), get outside for that sunshine, and avoid alcohol and substances.
6-Set boundaries that work for you 🛑 (because no one else can tell you what is right).
If you have to decline invitations, it is OK. Give yourself permission for you to do you. By setting boundaries, you can make sure to prioritize activities that help you, avoid triggers or difficult situations, and spend your time in a way you will enjoy it. Let go of any obligations that you may have to family or friends and give yourself the permission to do this.
Of course all of these tips are easier said than done. But even trying out one of these tips may help you move through the next week a little more easily. 🏽 From our nerdy family to yours 🏽, we wish you safe, peaceful, and a fulfilling holiday week to come.
Stay safe. Stay well.
Those Nerdy Girls
Please note: If you or a loved one need additional resources, Mental Health America (MHA) offers a great way to search for resources. And if you are in need of immediate assistance, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 OR 1-800-273-8255 (Español: 1-888-628-9454; Hearing Support: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Mental Health America’s 5 tips for dealing with the holidays
Dealing with Loneliness from the CDC
Tips for working with loneliness from Mental Health Foundation (UK)