It’s the holiday season but why don’t you feel merry? Are the holiday blues normal?
Here we are again! It’s that time of the year; the most wonderful time of the year! But why are you beginning to get that “bah humbug” feeling? Could it be that you are dreading the family gatherings, all the cooking, the huge crowds at department stores, etc., etc.? I bet you are wondering how can you feel this way at such a most wonderful time of the year, right? Well first of all let me reassure you that what you are feeling; the “holiday blues” is quite normal!
Holidays cause so much stress because we get caught up in the activities and forget all about the actual reason for the season. We over extend our time, our money and most of all we over extend ourselves. We get so stressed out and feel blue because many of us may feel that this time of the year should be picture perfect when in actuality isn’t. So sometimes we are the ones who actually set ourselves up for the big let down. The holiday season can also be depressing because it brings back memories of loved-ones who have passed on. And what about the state of our economy? Many people have lost jobs, homes, and may not have money to participate in holiday activities, not to mention how their spirits have been affected through such trying times. According to Mental Health America, holidays are depressing for some people because they may see a reflection of their past failures, and they may be lonely and anxious about the uncertainty of the future.
How to minimize holiday stress
• Be realistic-take care of yourself first, set realistic goals, and keep your expectations within your budget
• Don’t spend money you don’t have-credit card debt will over extend your budget as well as your mood when you get the bill
• Be diet conscious-don’t over indulge in eating foods that adversely affect your health, exercise daily
• Keep a sense of humor-don’t sweat the small stuff, laugh and enjoy the remembrance of good times
• Share the responsibility-if the holiday dinner is at your place, have family members and friends bring a dish to save you time and stress
How to reach out and give to others during the holiday season without going bankrupt.
Holidays are supposed to be about caring, not stressing out with spending money that we don’t have. And because people become over zealous during the holiday season they often spend more money than they actually can afford to. One way not to go bankrupt during the holiday season is to redirect that over zealousness to other areas of less expense. For example why not shift that enthusiasm on the elderly; the ones who are often victims of depression due to their age, loneliness, and because they don’t feel part of our society because they are isolated. This age population truly suffer with deep depression during the holiday season. Reaching out to them doesn’t have to be expensive. Just taking the time to talk with them makes them feel hopeful and worthwhile. It will also make you feel good about yourself, knowing you have made a difference in their sense of belonging. Another way to reach out and not go bankrupt is to donate to shelters for the homeless; donations do not have to be monetary. You can always donate clothes, food, can goods, etc. How about volunteering to read to children at public libraries, not to mention donating to food banks; etc. Yes, there are many other ways to give during the holiday season without going bankrupt!
Don’t believe the advertisement’s hype…..money does matter.
Advertisements encourage spending, spending and spending. They play on our emotions to influence into believing that it’s OK to over spend because after all, it’s Christmas; a holiday that comes only once a year. However, with the present financial status of our economy, the main goal is to keep your head above water. Why over spend now and suffer the consequences after the 1st of the year? Don’t set yourself up for the big let down! Keep what’s really important focused. The gift is about the thought of giving. People over spending is the only part of “Ebenezer Scrooge” that makes sense to me; the exhaustion of funds this time of the year. Also, don’t get caught up in so many of the activities of the holidays and get so stressed out and forget the real reason for the season! Enjoy your family and friends without over extending your budget and exhausting your time. Remember, a holiday dinner with family and friends is priceless and outweighs any monetary gift.