Managing the Holiday Blues During the Pandemic

Feeling anxious or stressed? Need to talk?

Call Catholic Charities to speak to a counselor: 713-874-6590

By Ivan Navarro, M.A., LPC, CATP, CCFP, Counseling and Behavioral Health Center

The holidays can be hard. Catholic Charities' counselors can help.

Have the holiday blues? Catholic Charities’ counselors offer some ways to cope.

Every year during the holiday season many people experience the “Holiday Blues.” Sometimes the holidays can bring about these temporary feelings of anxiety or depression. Though different from clinical anxiety or depression, they should still be taken seriously as they can lead to long-term mental health conditions.

The holidays may be “the most wonderful time of year,” but for many people the season triggers a lot of feelings of anxiety, depression, or stress. Then there is societal and family pressure and expectations, increased presence of alcohol, and more interactions with family and friends.

This year, more people than ever may experience the Holiday Blues due to the pandemic, including some people who have never experienced them before.

Some triggers — such as interactions with friends and family — are less heightened due to social distancing. However, those who enjoy interacting with loved ones or usually travel may feel sad because of isolation or travel restrictions.

Recognizing what your triggers are — a song, ritual, social media, etc. — and how you can respond in a healthy way is important for managing your stress or anxiety. Here are a few ways to help manage the Holiday Blues:

5 strategies to help manage the Holiday Blues during the pandemic:

  1. Take it one day at a time and find creative ways to connect with your faith or your support system: friends, family, faith leaders, etc.
  2. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling.
  3. Create new holiday traditions with children and family members such as making holiday decorations or baking over video interactions.
  4. Find ways to comfort those who may be grieving or seek support if you are dealing with grief and bereavement.
  5. Plan time for recreation activities, rest, and relaxation.

Need help? Speak to a counselor:

Additional Resources:

  • For crisis support: National Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
  • Harris Center Covid Mental Health Support Line: 832-251-7544
  • Crisis Intervention of Houston: 832-416-1177 or 832-416-1199 for Teens
    • Text line for Teens: 281-201-4430