Friday, December 9, 2022

Fa La La Funk- Dealing With the Holiday Blues


Dear Workplace Wonda, 

Each winter, when the holiday season rushes upon me like a crowd at a Bad Bunny concert, instead of feeling excitement, I experience downright dread.  In fact, the anticipation of back-to-back holidays with less workdays to get everything completed has put me in a funk.  What can I do to ease the stress associated with The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?


Having a Blue Holiday 

Dear Having a Blue Holiday,  

You are not alone in your fa la la funk.  Many people experience emotions not typically associated with the holidays, such as:  stress, depression, anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, loneliness, etc.  It even has a name—the holiday blues.  

Typically occurring during the months of November and December, the holiday blues can feel like you are Walking in a Winter Wonderland—full of hand grenades!   While some skip around joyfully tossing tinsel and handing out candy canes, others schedule there day in Grinch-like fashion:  

6:00 a.m.- Drag harried body out of bed

7:00 a.m.- Check mirror to confirm expression of self-loathing and contempt 

8:00 a.m.- Respond “Bah Humbug,” to all cheerful greetings

9:00 a.m.- Change holiday station- tell no one

9:30 a.m. – Rant about the commercialization of winter holidays

10:00 a.m. 5:00- Wallow in self-infected pity

Another words, the reason for the season doesn’t always bring Comfort and Joy to all.  Instead, many of us spend weeks preparing for the holidays—only for it to be reduced to a heaping pile of discarded boxes, wrapping paper, and bows.  

There are unsaid expectations that many of us put on ourselves around the holidays that lead to stress and disappointment when it doesn’t measure up.    Think about it, some of us spend money we don’t have on things no one needs, only to have it regifted back to us on our birthday!   

The holidays can also put a spotlight on issues that normally seem more manageable, such as divorce, sharing custody of children, loss of a family member, or living far from home.   It’s like watching Hallmark Christmas movies on repeat—reminding you of what you could have, should have—but don’t have!  

My advice to you is to find the reason for the season.  I know, I know—steal sayings much?   But it is good advice.  The following tips might help to make your heart grow three sizes larger during the holiday season:  

1. Address Symptoms- Make sure what you are feeling isn’t something that may need medical attention.  Is it a regular occurrence that only occurs during the winter holidays?  You may be experiencing seasonal depression that can be helped with medication and/or counseling.  Is grief or loneliness triggered during the holidays?  Anticipate and acknowledge your feelings and be honest with others how you are feeling when you are having a Blue Christmas.

2. Change things up- Celebrate Christmas in July.  Say no to gifts and go on a trip instead.  Explore, learn, and appreciate how other cultures celebrate holidays.  Gather family and friends and go to the children’s hospital or local retirement centers and entertain them with some Christmas caroling.  Society doesn’t control our traditions—we do.  

3. Set reasonable expectations- Keep things simple and manageable.  I used to make calendars for family members with everyone’s birthday stickered on.  It took me weeks.  Not only was it expensive, but I’d have to stay up for hours after work getting them done.  It became a tradition that I felt I had to continue even though instead of joy, it began to bring me stress, anxiety, and resentment.  I finally gave myself permission to give it the Ho, Ho, Ho, Heave Ho.  

4. Take Care of YOU- Make your own mental health a priority.  Lack of sun, breaks in routine, lack of sleep, and excessive drinking and eating during the holidays can drive anyone to become a Bad Santa.   Stick within your normal routine as much as possible.  The holidays are a busy time of the year, but don’t forego your workout routine to drown yourself in egg nogg and holiday cookies.  Practice moderation 

If all else fails, remember what Linus said on A Charlie Brown Christmas, “I never thought it was such a bad little tree.  It’s not bad at all really.  Maybe it just needs a little love.”   The premise of the story is exactly what you are getting at in your question.  Charlie Brown is experiencing the blues of the holiday and is rejecting the commercialization of Christmas.  Instead, he was seeking its true meaning.   Charlie picks the saddest tree of the lot because he thinks the tree needs him, not because he needs the tree.  

Isn’t that the true reason of holidays regardless of how you celebrate or if you celebrate?  Joy isn’t found in having the biggest and best, but how we care for one another.  And shouldn’t that be every day, not just during the holiday season?  


Workplace Wonda 




1 comment:

  1. The holiday season can be a bittersweet time, often stirring up feelings of nostalgia or loneliness. "Fa-La-La Funk: Dealing with Holiday Blues" sheds light on navigating these emotions with grace. Offering insights and coping strategies, it's a timely read for anyone feeling the weight of the season. Additionally, considering the accessibility and convenience of Online Counseling For Depression, individuals can find solace and support tailored to their needs. This article emphasizes the importance of seeking help when needed, reminding us that we're not alone in our struggles. Kudos to Workplace Wonda for addressing such a pertinent topic with empathy and understanding.


Fa La La Funk- Dealing With the Holiday Blues

  Dear Workplace Wonda,  Each winter, when the holiday season rushes upon me like a crowd at a Bad Bunny concert, instead of feeling excitem...