If you are anything like me, you may have experienced the Holiday Blues at one point or another. It is not what we imagine this season to be about, and it can leave us dreading this time of year. There are several reasons why we may experience these feelings that seem more pronounced during the holidays. Identifying the reasons brings awareness to help us focus on solutions. Also, I am going to give you a few very simple tips to combat these feelings to help you bring the joy back this year!


I always enjoyed the holiday season and Christmas may have come too early for my household! I treasured every moment with my kiddos, from decorating the tree to baking cookies and making gingerbread houses. It was always such a fun, chaotic time that I welcomed with open arms. It brought me joy just to see them happy. Through the years, my dad passed away unexpectedly along with my grandmother very shortly after. I think that was the time when I first began to feel that tug of sadness on my heart. The holiday season is so full of memories for me, gatherings of family, special food, and holiday parties. The sadness came from knowing that those gatherings would not always look the same without everyone I loved being present.

Fast forward to today, my children have grown up, and one even has a child of their own. None of them live at home anymore and they have their own adult lives and are starting their own traditions. Now, don’t get me wrong, all of this is wonderful and exactly what life is about! However, because I am being honest, there is also some sadness that comes with that. Once again, life has shifted, and it looks different. The house is not bustling with activity all the time and in the quiet, there is time for reflection and memories come flooding in.


Just because that is my story, it may be different than others. The holidays may be a season of regret, or time that feels lost. Whatever your story is, please know that even though our reasons for sorrow may be different, that feeling of sadness and pain is the same. And as a massage therapist, I practice extreme compassion because I know that this is not always a season of joy for everyone. And in many ways, I can relate. Part of my job is to just hold space for that emotion without trying to “fix” it. Being present through touch holds so much power in instances like these.


So, what do the Holiday Blues look like? It can be simple moments of sadness. Or it can feel overwhelming for some. It can cause you to feel withdrawn or disconnected. In more extreme cases, you may feel the need to disconnect from people all together. You may have a lack of appetite or want to overeat or overdrink. It can cause feeling of stress and anxiousness. If you can relate with any of these things, let’s talk about what you can do to put yourself back in the driver’s seat of your emotions this year! You have so much more control than you may even realize.

Tip #1

Don’t be afraid to say no. No is a full sentence and can be used whenever you’d like (yes, even during the holidays). If a situation is causing you extra stress or anxiety for whatever reason (maybe it is even the financial pressure of a gift exchange), you don’t have to do it! We spent 18 months recently paying off all our debt. I had to say no to traveling to see family and to handing out gifts. My family did not love that idea, but they also understood that I had to do what was best for me and my financial health at the time. The people that care about you will understand.

Tip #2

Move your body for at least 20 minutes consistently every single day! And I know, some of you will fight me on this one. There are NUMEROUS studies on exercise and how it has a direct effect on our moods. And if we are talking about gearing up to fight the Holiday Blues, you need to think about movement as a direct prescription from your doctor. And, you don’t need fancy exercise equipment to go for a run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, pull up a YouTube video on TaiChi or a dance class. Bonus points if you get a neighbor or friend to join in and get some social interaction.

Tip #3

You knew it was coming…. schedule (ahead of time) at least one massage appointment between November and the end of December. Human touch and connection is a vital part of getting you out of your head and back into your body. If you know that the Holiday Blues is going to rear its ugly head during this season, you must plan. Don’t wait until you’re in it and you feel “stuck”. I am here for you, our team is here for you, and we want you to be okay, even better than okay.

Tip #4

Practice gratitude beginning now. Again, the goal is to put you on a path to overcome this before you’re in it. And let’s simplify this. Write down 3 things every day that you are thankful for. That’s it. I don’t care if you use one sheet of paper, a notebook, or a fancy little journal. Just commit to writing 3 things down that you feel gratitude for. Every. Single. Day. This will (scientifically proven) instill a habit that causes you to begin to shift your focus to things that are positive rather than dwelling on things that are not. Guys, I am and extremely positive, self-motivated person and this is something that I practice to help keep me in that space.

Tip #5

Ditch the expectations! I have often had this picture in my head of what the holidays should look like (thanks a lot, Hallmark!) and when it doesn’t play out, I end up disappointed, frustrated, and mad. When I practiced letting go of what I thought it should be and allowed myself to be open to new, or even, “different” experiences, it was like a whole new world had opened! In fact, last year, my husband and I ate Thanksgiving dinner by ourselves, at a restaurant (gasp!), and it was one of the best Thanksgivings we’ve ever had. Who knew? I am no stranger to being my own problem. What I have learned is that I am also my own solution. Winning!

Most of all,

remember that this is not about perfection. And if you forget to move your body for a day or don’t practice gratitude for two days, do not beat yourself up. Just start again. And keep starting again. It’s also okay, healthy in fact, to “feel” the things. It’s okay to reflect. Just don’t allow those things to stop from experiencing this wonderful gift that we call life.

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