The holidays is typically a time when everyone feels excitement for the parties, gifts and gatherings they will be enjoying. That is not the case for everyone, even though movies and media will have you think it is – and many are dealing with loneliness and anxiety.

I looked up some helpful tips on identifying the winter or holiday blues, because knowing is half the battle. Here are some useful facts, courtesy of WebMD:

Causes and symptoms of the holiday blues

Being tired
Having high expectations
Being marketed to constantly
Financial pressures
Not being able to be with family or friends

Common coping mechanisms

Headaches and pains
Too much drinking
Eating more often
Lack of sleep

But, there is help! Here are some useful tips for coping with the holiday blues

Being realistic with your expectations during the holiday season.

Setting goals within your reach

Taking one step at a time. Do not take on more than you can handle.

Make a list and check it twice, and thrice and as many times as you need to stay on top of what is important. This will help you to manage your responsibilities over the holidays!

Be realistic about what take on.

Do focus all of your holiday energy into one event and spread it across the season. There is lots to do and everyday counts!

Living in the present is always a good idea. The past is gone and the future is not here yet. Enjoy the moment.

Think positive and be optimistic about the future. There really is no other way.

Avoid comparing your life with another time that was better. There really is no point to that…unless you are enjoying music or a movie. Because we all know they just aren’t what they used to be 🙂

Helping others is always a good thing. You invite positivity and good karma into your world with every good deed. It could also inspire gratitude as there is always someone who has it worse than you do.

You don’t always have to spend money to have fun during the holiday. There is window shopping, looking at the decorations, watching the snowfall. Did you know that each snowflake is a complex and perfect organism? Google it!

Your body is a temple. Keep your drinking, and drugging, to a minimum as substances will only add to your stress.

Do something different this year. Celebrate the holidays by doing something you haven’t done in the past. That’s always a good ice breaker and story to tell for the year to come.

Surround yourself with bucket fillers. Being with supportive and caring people who appreciate you is always good for the mind, body and soul.

Stranger are just friends you haven’t made yet (within reason). There are lots of ways to connect and reach out to new people…and it doesn’t stop during the holidays.

Reach out to a long lost friend or family member. I don’t see any way that could not be a special experience.

Your own company is always the best. Making time for yourself to eat some good food or take in your favourite Netflix show is always a winner. I mean, at the end of the day, we enter this world alone and we leave it alone…so make sure to make time for #1!

It takes a village. Let your family and friends know what you have on your To Do list and you’ll be surprised at the help and useful tips they might offer.

Stay on top of your finances. Nothing is more stressful, or depression inducing, than losing control of your finances. So stay on budget and don’t celebrate beyond your means. It is okay to tell your kid that a toy is too expensive, or to write a loved one a poem as their gift. It’s the though that counts and going into debt to make a shallow impression is never a good way to kick off the new year!

Happy Holidays and know that you are not alone. We are all in this together so stay strong and take care of yourself!

(Image courtesy of Hue Photography)