Rx for the Holiday Blues

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The holidays can bring some predictable stressors into our lives.  Here are are some suggestions to help you keep the Holiday Blues away.

Manage Expectations
Image     Focus on Intention rather than Outcome

             –  Detach with Love; Pay attention to what has Heart and Meaning

      –  Lower Expectations – have a “good enough” Holiday

o   E.G. Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree

          Recognize the Good, the Warm, the Nice Moments

          Shorten or Extend the definition of the “Holiday Season” based on your needs:

o   The Holiday “Season” can be a “Holi-Day” or two

o   Cards and gifts can be sent past December 25 if relabeled as “Holiday” cards/Gifts


Practice Acceptance


          Treasure  and Honor your Memories

o   Soak in their Sweetness, Honor your Losses, but

o   Don’t get stuck in a morass of sentimentality

o   Ask for help from a friend, religious leader, counselor if you are feeling stuck


          Everything changes: “This, too, (loneliness, sadness, happiness, elation) Shall Pass”

o   Use today’s situation to envision what you want to be different going forward, then

o   Act on how are you going to get there


          Expect, Accept and Tolerate Feelings that may be uncomfortable

o   Practice Loving Kindness, Compassion and Mercy for your condition and others

o   Emotions will pass and you can handle it (Serenity Prayer; Breathing mantra)

o   Allowing emotions to just be  may lead to something better and will avoid suffering


          Everyone is just trying to get their needs met; including you

o   Hey, we’re all imperfect Human beings living in an imperfect world, trying to do our best;

o   If you need to say “sorry” – do it, we all make mistakes, that is why the word exists. 

o   If you forgive someone, it will probably make you feel as good as or better than the other person for having done it.


          You don’t have to be happy during the holidays

o   If you are experiencing grief over a recent loss this Holiday may not be a “happy” occasion, but it can be sacred, meaningful, even joyous.  You can be alive, though in pain.

Do One Thing Different

          Lonely? – Reach Out, just a little; Do something for someone else; Call an old friend; Give a card to your neighbor; Create your own Holiday ritual; Be your own best friend; Join a group;  

          Tired? – Slow Down – Breathe; notice what is happening now; Treat yourself to something special; Accept your limitations, say: “I am moving at a pace that is just right for me”

          Angry? – Soften your belly; Talk it Out; Look for little pieces of what’s good

          Hurt? – Soften your Heart; Try not to take it personally – what ever happened was more about them than it is about you.


Wishing you many Joyful Holiday Moments!

~ Michael

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