How I am coping with Holiday Blues

While holidays are a time of joy, our unrealistic expectations for how special something is going to be are leaving a different mark. Many of these lead to feelings of let-down later if those expectations are not met. Similarly, people may have experienced unfavorable circumstances that blew those expectations away in a fast, sudden turnaround. These and many more contributes to holiday blues.

Holiday blues are feelings of sadness that last throughout towards the holiday season—especially during the months of November and December. Holidays are usually viewed as a time of happiness. But for some of us, it can be a period of painful reflection, sadness, loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Holiday blues are also felt by people who love the holidays like me. This is a season with high emotion and demands leaving a lot of people feeling stressed and exhausted. 

I also had this unsettling feeling since the middle of this year. Despite all the busyness and achievements, I fear for something—I fear abandonment and betrayal. I had this feeling especially when I was in the process of publishing my first book for print. I guess, I was afraid that my plans would fail just like the previous ones. I am afraid it would be all in vain. I lost some things and people personally, and every loss made a filter on how I perceive things coming my way.

Having known this, I know I have to do something. Let me list down what I did for the last six months in dealing with the unfolding of holiday blues.

1) Weekly Relaxing Body Massage

As the mental health epidemic continues to grow throughout the country, people are turning seeking positive outcomes from total mind and body approaches such as massage therapy. I made it a point to always have a weekly massage session at Spa Riviera Prime to counter any negative feelings. Massage has evolved into an additional treatment option for mental health conditions by reducing cortisol and adrenaline, as well as increasing serotonin and dopamine to reduce anxiety depression.

Relaxing Massage at Spa Riviera Prime

2) Find new environment for personal time.

Mental health can be impacted by anything in your environment, but the most notable factors include aesthetics, familiarity, and sensory. Cluttered spaces can create feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, while tidy spaces can invoke a sense of calm. I found myself in a newly opened cafe at Mandurriao Healthy Kitchen Cafe. The lighting, temperature, sounds, smells, and color palette of the cafe made me feel comfortable, relaxed, and safe. 

Enjoying my iced coffee and sugar-free calamansi cake at Healthy Kitchen Cafe.

Moreover, finding a new place will mean creating new experiences. If something weighty and negative is in the environment, such as a difficult relationship or disorganization, reminds you of a difficult time, you may feel triggered by old feelings like anxiety. So, try making new memories moving forward.

Reading my first published book at Healthy Kitchen Cafe.

3) Go on a short vacation.

Not only that you find a new place, but go on a full vacation. Vacations can also improve our mental health by reducing depression and anxiety. Even a short vacation can reduce stress. Vacation will lead you to a new place for new experiences and to be away from your routinary life. I did not only had vacation once, but twice. I stayed at Lafayette Park Square Condominium via Airbnb App. Both stays were three days and two nights each. I got better sleep and got relieved of stress.

4) Indulge in your favorite food.

Instead of forbidding yourself from eating your favorite treats for health reasons, try eating nourishing meals and snacks during the day and allowing yourself to eat a treat or two that you are craving. But, most importantly, don’t deprive yourself of goodies. Instead, use those treats in combination with high-quality socialization to bring about mental wellness. 

Taiwanese Food of Lazy Susan and Fresh Bakes by Mrs Wharton

So, I got my favorite goodies from Gents Tinpurada, Healthy Kitchen, Mrs. Wharton’s Fresh Bakes, and Lazy Susan. I also got my Bo’s Coffee doses and some Island Tea Co refills. Interestingly, I also discovered another new favorite, Mamaca Frozen Yogurt. These are all in Iloilo City. Follow my Facebook Pages, Nile on Weekends and Watch Out – Iloilo for more whereabouts.

Love Box Assorted Pastries by Mrs Wharton and Taiwanes Food by Lazy Susan
Healthy Kitchen Christmas Box of Seafood Pasta and Spicy Crab Salad Wrap
Eating Pasta Bolognese of Gents Tinpurada
Butterfly Giant Squid and Pasta Bolognese of Gents Tinpurada
Drinking my coffee at Bo’s Coffee Robinson’s Jaro
Reading my book at Island Tea Co. in SM City Iloilo
The first time I met this frozen yogurt by Mamaca is when I learn to love again.

5) Invest some energy in helping others who may also have the same dilemma.

I believe in the principle of sowing and reaping generally. When a pastor pitched an idea for an event related to mental health a couple of weeks ago, I prayed and sought God immediately. Then, God provided all the means to get everything done excellently. Together with LoveSpeak International, we had “It’s Ok Not To Be Ok: Healthy Talk on Suicide Prevention and Depression Management” at Healthy Kitchen Cafe last December 11, 2021 as supported by several other brands. Seeing and hearing all the stories and feedback about the event also helped me psychologically.

No matter what you are going through, hang in there and keep moving forward. I hope that a glimpse of my story also helps you find your way back to life.

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