The Right to Beat the Blues

Two women are meeting for coffee and conversation.You know how long the naughty and nice list is? That’s about how long my holiday to-do list is. Putting up decorations, making cheesecake, prepping food, grocery shopping, gift shopping, wrapping gifts, cleaning the house, sending holiday cards, accommodating traveling guests and much more. Between hefty to-do lists, unexpected guests and household mishaps, you need to remember to keep your mental state merry and bright.

Try to maintain your normal routine: Straying too far from normal routines may lead to additional stress. If you normally go to yoga on Thursdays or CrossFit on Mondays, stick to it. Normal activities and tasks help us stay balanced, even during busy times.

Don’t be alone if you don’t want to: Reach out to friends or family to see what plans they have for the holidays. If you don’t have family close by, consider holding a FaceTime or Skype session. If you’re new in town and don’t have family or friends in the area, looks for events happening in your neighborhood or volunteer.

Stick to your budget: Finances can easily make you feel overwhelmed and stressed. Avoid thinking about paying off all these holiday purchases by setting a budget and sticking to it. Try making gifts this year, starting a family exchange so you’re only buying one gift, or donate that gift money to a charity in someone’s name.

Learn to say no: All those party and dinner invitations can be overwhelming. While saying “no” may make you feel guilty, your friends and family will understand if you can’t make it to every gathering.

Take time for yourself: Even if it’s only a 15-minute break from gift wrapping or cooking, a little alone time may help you clear your mind and reduce your stress. Try taking a short walk, turn on some of your favorite music or do some pleasure reading.

Ask for help: It’s easy to get overwhelmed and take on too much during the holidays. Don’t be afraid to ask family and friend for assistance in cooking, decorating or shopping.

The holidays come and go, but despite your best efforts, you may continue to feel persistently anxious or depressed. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health condition, BayCare Behavioral Health is a community-based system with a full range of comprehensive services. For more information, visit or call (877) 850-9613.