How to Shake the Holiday Blues

Taking time for gratitude can help

sad dog wearing santa hat

Does your holiday jingle sound more like a languishing jangle? If you feel blue around the holidays, you’re in good company. These feelings are quite common, says psychologist Michael McKee, PhD.

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He says you may feel down if you can’t celebrate the way you’d like to or if you’re reminded of losses that happened around the holiday season. “The feelings pass when the holidays pass,” he adds.

People also look back on the year, and if things didn’t go well, they may feel sorrow, anger or regret. Others get upset when the holidays don’t live up to their ideals or if they can’t recreate the Christmas they experienced as a child.

So if you have these feelings, what can you do?

Work on gratitude, says Dr. McKee. He says studies show it can actually help to count your blessings. “If you’re having trouble counting them, write them down,” he says.

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He suggests at the end of each day, write down:

  • Three good things that have happened to you that day
  • One person you’re grateful for having in your life

He says this little exercise can help change your thinking and outlook — and may lift your mood.

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