Surviving the Holidays and Actually Enjoying This Time of Year.

For some people, the Holidays are an exciting time with family, friends, food, and celebration. However, for many others, the Holidays are very difficult and bring various feelings and memories that can make the Holidays downright miserable. Below is a list of common struggles many people experience during the Holidays and some ways to help reduce and manage the Holiday blues.


  • Avoid over-extending yourself: it is OK to say “no”
  • Be present in the moment; Avoid dwelling on the past or worrying about the future
  • Focus on the things you CAN control and accept the things that are out of your control
  • Make lists, plan ahead, and prioritize; be realistic about what you can get done
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to let some things go undone; let go of perfectionism
  • Identify a budget and stick to it; some of the best gifts and experiences don’t cost money


Family Conflict:

  • Prepare yourself emotionally ahead of time; develop realistic expectations
  • If possible, take your own car, so you can leave if you feel uncomfortable
  • Take a break; remove yourself to a quiet location if you need to relax or regroup
  • Remember, you cannot control or change others, but you can control and change how you respond to others



  • It is ok to experience some sadness or loneliness during the holidays; you don’t have to deny or feel guilty about your feelings
  • Take good care of yourself; make your own physical and emotional health a priority
  • Reach out to family and friends; it’s OK to ask for help
  • Alcohol is a depressant; abstain from or limit alcohol use


Grief and Loss:

  • Incorporate the loved one’s memory into your holiday activities
  • Create new traditions and memories
  • Surround yourself with family and friends; and take time alone when you need it, too
  • Express your feelings; it’s OK to be sad
  • Allow time for your feelings; be gentle with yourself
  • Remember, it is OK to be happy also. This does not diminish the amount you love and miss the person who isn’t there
  • Do nothing or do minimal things for the Holidays if you are not up to it; they will come around again next year



  • Attend a community function; educational, religious, or social event
  • Do something nice for someone else; random acts of kindness
  • Invite someone over
  • Keep yourself busy; housework, volunteering, hobbies, reading, exercise, etc.
  • Enjoy your own company; you don’t always need other people to have a good time
  • Use email, phone, or social media to communicate and connect with friends and family long distance


If your symptoms persist, seem severe, or are interfering in your work or daily life, you may want to consider talking to a doctor or a counselor, or perhaps attending group sessions at CCS. Please call one of the offices to check group schedules, in Huron – 352-8596 or Madison – 256-9656.

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