The Holidays make me miserable!

5 Simple and Sure Ways to beat the Holiday Blues.

This is the time of the year when many clients come into my office feeling down and depressed. It is a time when stores are putting out colorful seasonal decorations, where background holiday music is playing on the radio and where people are buying gifts and preparing for holiday parties and celebrations. For some, this can be a joyous time of the year however for others, this time can be more of a daunting experience. Over the years, my clients have shared a few reasons for not being able to enjoy the holiday season, which I will point out. Some have found that they are arguing more with their loved ones or are trying to decide on which side of the family they will spend this year with. Will it be with the husband’s side or will it be with the wife’s side? Other’s simply don’t have family to even consider. Parents, siblings may be deceased or distant, leaving very little support for that person. Clients have also shared that the holiday’s can be very stressful due to financial struggles. Buying gifts and traveling to visit family and friends may add to their financial burden. These are all valid reasons for not being able to enjoy the Holiday season. I would like to share with you 5 strategies that have helped many of my clients to destress and that I hope, can help you prepare for a happier holiday season.

Spend 15 minutes each morning on Mindfulness practices

Mindfulness is a way of practicing “being in the present moment.” Every morning, take time to become completely and fully present. Use deep breathing for body relaxation and to help in bringing your mind to a calmer place. If you find yourself drifting into memories and going into worry mode, then you are no longer in the, “present.” Worry is often related to something that happened in the past or something In the future that may or may not happen. The past cannot be changed and the future has not yet arrived! Live in the present and choose to enjoy your daily experiences. From the time you sip your morning coffee or tea…to your evening shower. Pay attention to the details of your present life and how you feel. Have you had a chance to enjoy the fresh air today? What about that feeling when a friend makes you laugh. Learn to live mindfully and you will begin to experience a better quality of life.

Be Honest and Truthful with Yourself

As children, many of us have been taught to be honest and truthful toward others. But what about honesty and truthfulness within yourself. I have worked with many adults and personally know of many people who make their decisions based on how others feel and they forget about themselves. Take some time to consider how your choices and decisions will impact your own wellbeing. Have you for example been struggling financially and cannot afford to add more debt to your life, especially buying presents for more people? Be honest with yourself about your life, your situation, and your goals. Do not create more problems for yourself by putting yourself in a situation that is not in your best interest. Pay attention to your needs first. When you are truthful with yourself, you see your life through an honest lens. This may mean cutting back on presents or maybe traveling less. Whatever the situation may be, check in with yourself and ask yourself questions like, “How will this affect me?”, “Will I be happy if I do this?” You should never have to compromise your own happiness. Find other ways to make the holidays joyful. Consider your feelings before overly committing yourself to tasks, events or celebrations? Think of your feelings and how those additional obligations will affect you. Be extra careful to not self-criticize or add self-blame. If not, you will be walking yourself right back into a state of unhappiness and stress.

When you are able to be honest with yourself, there is less regret and more openness to receive others. You will find less stress during the holidays with this practice of honesty and truthfulness within yourself.

Seek Support

Choose to spend time with people who bring you happiness and positivity. If you must see family and/or friends who add negativity and chaos to your life, then prepare yourself prior to your visit and use strategies that would allow you to not become emerged into their world. Try changing unwanted conversations, excuse yourself if a break is needed, or be kindly direct in sharing with the other person your goal of keeping positive and happy during this holiday season. If you are unable to manage your stress on your own, reach out to a qualified therapist or counselor for help.

Candida Diaz

November 11, 2018

To learn more information about coping with stress, call Candida Diaz with Face to Face Counseling and Psychotherapy @ 917-834-6211, email

Candida Diaz