Monday, December 02, 2013

Six Tips to Overcome the Holiday Blues by Angela L. Braden

For many, sadness, loneliness, stress, and depression during the holiday season are as common as turkey dinners, crowded shopping trips, candy canes, and sweet potato pies. There are a plethora of reasons why the holiday season is far from cheerful for some. Financial problems, the loss of a loved one, familial discord, lack of or unfulfilled romantic relationships, and geographic distance from loved ones are just a few of the reasons why some people find themselves singing “woe is me” instead of “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.”

Here are some helpful tips to help you overcome the holiday blues.

1. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness this holiday season. Forgiving others gives you the ability to move forward without the baggage of past hurts, strife, and regret. Furthermore, forgiveness is the bridge that can lead to mending broken relationships. Forgiveness does not indicate that you’re weak. It does not mean that you’ve forgotten about the past offense. It simply means that you have given yourself permission to move forward to a place of healing and restoration.

2. If you are living in a city far from close family members and friends during the holidays, don’t get bummed out. Look for opportunities to spend time with family and friends that you are not as acquainted with. The holidays are an excellent time to rekindle old relationships and build new relationships. If someone invites you to a holiday party, strongly consider attending. If your church is having a holiday event, try to attend. Attending holiday events is a great way to meet new people.

3. If you have time to spare, volunteer. Making oneself useful is a fantastic way to build self worth, boost personal enthusiasm, and put personal values to work. Plus, it’s hard to think about how horrible your life is when you’re helping individuals that are less fortunate than you.

4. If you’re a person that experiences depressive symptoms, and they only get worse during the holiday season, seeking mental health services is appropriate. Schedule an appointment with a counselor as a gift to yourself and the people around you. And if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the crisis hotline in your city. They will be able to assist you with getting the services you need to address your hopelessness and despair.

5. If money is an issue this holiday season, think of creative ways you can give to your loved ones that doesn’t require you to spend a lot of money. Visit your local arts and crafts store and make your gifts. Give your adult children a “free babysitting card” for an evening out during the holiday season. Cook the people you love a great meal. There are all sorts of things you can do that do not require you to break the bank.

6. If you’re sad that someone you loved is now deceased and they are not present with you during the holiday season, cherish the time you did have with them. In addition, take time to cherish the time you have with the people that are still with you.

Angela L. Braden is an award winning blogger, college educator, and motivational speaker. To learn more about how this blind woman is helping audiences all over the country see their way to their personal best, visit