Why We Feel Down at the End of the Year and What We Can Do About It
By Lisa Firestone
The holidays are painted to be a time of love and cheer, but for many people, the winter months and the close of another year can be tough. The gloomy weather can wear on us. Family visits can prove taxing. And painful feelings can surface, especially with the memory of lost loved ones or the simple realization of the passing of time. Many of us tend to attach meaning to the holidays that adds extra pressure to our experiences and can set us up to feel disappointment, anxiety, or sadness. So what are some of the reasons we get down at the close of the year and how can we take a proactive approach to staying positive?
5 Ways to beat the blues include:
1. Keep Active – Cold and dark weather can make us drowsy and discourage us from being physically active.
2. Stay On Your Own Side – Be wary of self-critical thoughts that tend to crop up during the holiday season and end of the year.
3. Get To Know Your Patterns – One of the most valuable questions for people to ask themselves when they feel down is “What am I telling myself in those moments when I start to feel stressed or depressed?”
4. Choose Your Family Time – Family time may sound relaxing and joyful, but not all holiday visits are filled with warmth and affection.
5. Keep A Balance – Many of us have obligations over the holidays from every end of the spectrum, from the distant relatives we visit to the odd hours we work.
(This excerpt was taken from 5 Ways To Beat The Holiday Blues by Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., and appeared on psychology today.com on December 17, 2012. To view it in its entirety please click on this link: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201212/5-ways-beat-the-holiday-blues.