Coping With the Holidays

Many of us get excited about the holiday season. But even if we look forward to these days, there are many times that we get stressed by all the demands or other things. There are some of us that have trouble with the holidays because of sadness, loss, depression, or other reasons.

Let’s see where we can take control during these weeks ahead. Hopefully, we may enjoy the days more or at least manage them better.

Here are some tips to try:

Gift Buying

  • Find other ways to share gifts. Bake something or draw names for one family member instead of buying gifts for all in the family. Keep the focus on the person not the gift.
  • Make a budget and stick to it.


  • Buy food already fixed. It’s okay if you didn’t make it.
  • Ask others to bring dishes they like.
  • Make food ahead of time and freeze.

Making time for family and friends

  • Keep the events simple. Talk with your family about which traditions you want to keep. You don’t have to do all that you have done in the past.
  • Save time for yourself. Do things that you enjoy and that are good for you. Put it in your planner to take a walk.
  • See some family and friends after the holidays.
  • Make time to relax and recharge after visiting with others.

Managing your time

  • Set goals that you know you can reach easily. Have a family member review the goals and give you feedback.
  • Build in time to pause and enjoy the moment.
  • Planning activities for your family can be draining. Do less or have someone else take on some of the planning.
  • Ask others to help you get the chores done.
  • Listen to your body and rest when it tells you to.

Watch for holiday blues?

Different things can cause it, such as:

  • Family issues
  • Loss of a loved one with whom you have shared the holidays
  • Being away from family and friends
  • Thinking about losses over the past year
  • Coping with changes, such as a recent marriage or divorce
  • Drinking more alcohol, which can be out more often during the holidays. (Alcohol often can make depression worse.)

How do I deal with any holiday blues?

  • Try something new. Take a trip with family or a friend.
  • Spend time with people who care about you.
  • Give your time to help others. Being with those in need can help you feel more connected.
  • For some, taking time to think about the spiritual focus of the holidays can help.
  • Focus on the good things you have now and not on the past.
  • Stay active. Get outside. Go for a walk with family.
  • Get help if you need it. Check with your doctor and your health insurance for options. Blue Valley Behavioral Health offers services on a sliding scale.

Adapted from The Cleveland Clinic

For more tips and ways to live healthier, call Four Corners Health Department @ 877-337-3573. You also can reach Four Corners at