Handling the Holiday Blues

By: Gay.net Editors

Starting in October you can't turn on the TV, go shopping or listen to the radio without being reminded the holiday season is on its way. The holidays are a very exciting part of the year, but they can also be very stressful and cause some people to want to hide until spring arrives.

To make the holidays a little easier to handle, here are some tips that can help you survive yet another holiday season.

Focus on the Positives - The holidays are all about celebrating and being grateful. We get to spend time with family and friends and hopefully a little time for ourselves. It is easy to start thinking about what you don't have instead of what you do have.

Make sure you don't spend the holidays comparing your life to others; it never helps. When we compare ourselves to others we only look at what they have that we want. We never think about all they don't have that we have. We consider that to be a wash.

Instead of worrying about keeping up with the "Jones" just make sure your life is what you want it to be. Not based on others but based on your personal inner voice. Focus on all you have and how blessed you are. Remember, there are more people wishing to be you and have all that you do than there are with truly more than you.

Learn To Say No - This is a big one during the holiday season. The holidays can be filled with tons of forced obligations. Learning to say no will help you greatly reduce your holiday stress and allow you to have a fun time.

Is it really important that you send out a holidays cards to everyone you know even though you haven't talked to them or received card from them in years?

Is it important you attend:

Your work holiday party
Your department holiday party
Your boss's private holiday party
Steve and Joe's Party
John, Chris and Leo's gift exchange party
Nick and Kevin's ugly holiday sweater party
The list can go on and on....

Learn to say No!! Set limits for yourself to make this easier. Decide how many parties you will attend, what your gift budget is, how many holiday cards you will send, etc. Do this BEFORE the season and then stick to the plan. This will allow your holiday season to be less out of control.

What do you do now the season is here? Check with yourself to make sure you really want to do it. If you are going to the party, buying the gift, or sending the card because you want to, then do it. If you are doing it because you feel you have to, then don't.

Surround Yourself With Love - You should be doing this all year long but especially around the holidays. The best way to beat the holiday blues is having friends and family around you to celebrate the season with.

It doesn't mean they have to live in the same city or country as you. Phone calls, emails, IM conversations and even webcam chats can really help you feel connected during the holiday season with your loved ones all over the world.

When we feel down, we tend to hide within ourselves. This just feeds the blues. Reach out and talk to people who you love, make you smile and make you laugh. Reaching out is one of the best things you can do.

Plan For Your Life, Not the Season  - When the holidays come we can get so caught up in celebrating and planning we forget there is life after the holidays. You can't put your life on hold for the holidays and then jump back in afterwards.

Most people feel the blues because of this exact reason. They put everything into the holiday season without thinking about what to do next. When the season is over, we can feel lost, bored and our calendar is now empty. Instead plan your life to include the holidays but allow it to continue on.

Think about what you want to do for the whole year. How will you stay in better contact with your friends and family? Couldn't you attend regular parties or start throwing some get togethers of your own? There are more holidays, birthdays and "just because" things to celebrate. Do not allow the holiday season be the pinnacle of your celebrating. Celebrate year round!

Give a Gift For Yourself - Yes I want you to be selfish. I am not talking about a 70 inch flat panel TV (unless you really want it and can afford it.) I am talking about not forgetting to take the time to celebrate with yourself.

So remember...

  • Give yourself time to enjoy the holidays.
  • Give yourself permission to say no
  • Give yourself the right to laugh
  • Give yourself some time off from work to relax
  • Give yourself love

Yes we know it sounds all silly but we really do forget about ourselves during the holidays. This is your life and you should be having fun and enjoying. Make sure you don't allow others to rule the holidays. You deserve it to be about you as well.

This is just the beginning of the conversation. What ideas do you have on beating the holiday blues? Please share them in the comments below.