Pumpkin spice season has come and (nearly) gone and now it’s time for peppermint and pine. Even among the twinkling lights, crisp weather, and neatly wrapped packages, the holiday season isn’t always merry and bright.
While many celebrate the arrival of the holiday season, it can have a somber effect on others. Known as the “Holiday Blues,” this time of year can bring about temporary feelings of anxiety or depression triggered by additional stress, unrealistic expectations, or sad memories that accompany the season. It’s likely that, at some point, you or someone you care about has had a less than enjoyable holiday experience.
That’s why we want to take time to recognize the resiliency that lies within each of us. Resiliency is our ability to bounce back from difficulties. At ADHD Online, we help people find their own strengths each day. Those who are diagnosed with ADHD face difficulties that can set them back or make the day harder than it was intended to be. By tapping into our inner resiliency, we can make it through the day and overcome any holiday blues that may come along.
If you find yourself dreading the holiday season, here are some tips to help warm the winter chill and build resiliency:
Identify the Obstacles:
Whether a sunny day turns to rain, or one homework question turns into 20, the sooner you identify obstacles that stand in your way, the easier it will be to find a solution to conquer them. Many times, half the battle is simply knowing what you’re up against. When faced with struggles, take a step back, give words to your challenge (i.e. “I am frustrated because this homework assignment is more difficult than I was prepared for.”), and refocus on the task at hand. If you struggle to give words to your emotions, try starting a journal and simply keep note of what is happening in your life. This is a practice called “free writing” and it will help you tap into your feelings.
Face Your Fears:
A key to building resiliency is facing the things that challenge us. While this can be difficult or scary, this is how we grow and develop fortitude. Continue to recognize obstacles that stand in your way when they occur and don’t back down from them. Keep trying and finding solutions to how you can achieve your goals. During the holidays this may mean striking up a conversation with a coworker during the office potluck or sitting down with your family members to plan out Thanksgiving dinner. Taking on tasks that make us uncomfortable builds our resiliency and our skillset.
Look for the Positives:
Resiliency is a superpower and one that takes time to build. To increase your resiliency, focus on the good in your life. Maybe classes have been difficult this fall, but you’ve cultivated a strong mentorship with your teacher. Maybe you’ve been passed over for a promotion at work, but your boss gave you praise during the last company meeting. No matter what you are going through, remember that the bad times won’t last forever and there can be silver linings once you start to look for them.
You shouldn’t tackle the holiday blues, or any mental health concerns, alone. Lean on your support system when you feel down. This can be friends, family, classmates, or a mental health professional. By seeking help early, you’ll be able to tap into resources and have a more joyful holiday season. If you don’t know where to start, let us help – take our comprehensive assessment today.
This holiday season don’t let candy canes and crowds trigger your holiday blues. It’s okay to have an off day but try to use this time to build your resiliency.