The holiday season is upon us and, while it can be a time of joyous festivities and happy gatherings, it can also be a time of increased anxiety and depression. Add in the fact that 2020 has been a year ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and this winter is set to look a little different than years past.
The holiday season can be difficult for many, particularly as they age. As we get older, families evolve, loved ones pass away and living situations change, the holidays may not continue to be as joyous as they once were. This year, with the continued concern around the Coronavirus pandemic, more families than ever may be opting to stay apart for their health and wellbeing. While that’s good for our physical health, it can take a toll on our mental health.
Here are some common causes of the holiday blues and ways to combat them.
Grief & Loss
For many, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time if you’ve suffered a loss. Perhaps it’s the first holiday without a loved one. Or perhaps the loss is just highlighted during the holiday season. In order to celebrate their memory, place a photo of your loved one in a prominent place. Maybe light a memorial candle or create a photo album full of photos of your loved one enjoying holidays past. However you choose to remember them, include them in your celebrations.
The holidays can be stressful. Oftentimes that stress is a result of wanting to continue to do all of the things you used to do during the holidays of prior years. Buying and wrapping presents, entertaining friends and family, decorating your home… The list can be overwhelming.
Set boundaries for yourself. Adding too much to your plate will only cause exhaustion and keep you from enjoying the season. Make a list of the things you want to do and plan it out so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Spending tends to increase during the holiday season. This added financial stress, especially if you are living on a fixed income, can be anxiety-provoking. Set a budget at the start of the season and stick to it. Instead of buying multiple presents for loved ones, choose one that they’ll really enjoy. Or create a heartfelt memento that they’ll enjoy.