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Beat The Holiday Blues
Trinitas Regional Medical Center Psychologist Offers Advice On Coping With Holiday Blues

The holiday season is a joyous time where friends and family come together to enjoy a time of both happiness and celebration. Hosting parties and meeting with relatives, friends and neighbors often means that this is a hectic time of year for many people. Things like the military operations in the Middle East, the continual threat of domestic terrorism, the pressure and perils of holiday shopping, and traveling and hosting parties can create additional stress.

"Although this season is a time for celebration, taking care of yourself is also very important," said Rodger Goddard, PhD., Psychologist, Trinitas Regional Medical Center. "At this time of year, people young and old alike may also cope with anxiety, stress, the absence of loved ones and family separations. In many circumstances celebrations can often create tension, stress and disappointment."

Experiencing the 'Holiday Blues' is common during the holiday season with symptoms including feelings of fatigue, sadness, stress and a general reduction in energy. Instead of looking forward to and enjoying the celebrations, for many this season increases a feeling of loneliness, stress and anxiety. "It is important to realize that everyone will experience this holiday season differently," stated Goddard. "With changes in routines, additional spending and absence of family members, individuals need to ensure that they reduce the affects of the Holiday Blues as much as possible to ensure that the body has time to recover from these negative feelings."

The holiday season should be a time of rejoicing and enjoying the company of friends and family. By following these guidelines for a manageable holiday, the symptoms of Holiday Blues can be reduced to ensure stress and anxiety is kept to a minimum and allowing everyone the opportunity of experiencing a happy holiday.


Set realistic goals for yourself this holiday season. By creating manageable goals, disappointment and stress can be kept to a minimum.


Prioritize your events and activities. Organize your time effectively when going to parties and if traveling, allowing yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination in case of delays.


Allow some time for yourself this holiday season. Everyone needs the opportunity to recharge their batteries.


Establish a budget for shopping, decorations and food. Financial worries can only add more stress to the holiday season.


Ensure you maintain a healthy diet this season and get plenty of exercise. Overeating and excessive drinking to escape feelings of stress and anxiety can only add to your Holiday Blues.


If you will be alone this holiday season, try joining a local community club or religious group.

"This holiday season, prepare realistically and take into consideration the level of stress and anxiety you may create for yourself," explains Goddard. "A holiday should be a time for happiness and relaxing with friends and family. By taking into consideration these tips for a stress reducing holiday, everyone should experience a happier, enjoyable holiday season."

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