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Minisode 12 | December 22, 2020

Coping With the Holiday Blues

We get real and talk about how we're coping with mental and physical exhaustion, grief, and depression during this holiday season... and share ideas for how all of us can can take better care of ourselves.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No” – the podcast about saying no and setting boundaries to become the authentic and empowered you that this world needs.

Quick disclosure: While Sarah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, this podcast is in no way replacement for one-on-one therapy with a mental health professionalIf you are struggling with mental health issues, we welcome you on this journey, but also invite you to seek out professional help.

Looking for a therapist? Here’s a good place to start:

coping with the holiday blues
Key Takeaways

We’re trying to give ourselves a break, so we’re keeping this episode’s show notes brief, but here are a few ideas we came up with for self-care when you’re feeling stressed or “blue” this holiday season:

  • Remember first that you’re a human being, not a human “doing.” It’s valid to feel how you feel. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers or feel up to doing things for others all the time. Again, you’re human, and you need to rest and receive care, just like everyone else. Be gentle with yourself, especially if you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.
  • Verbalize when you need help. If you don’t know how to ask for help, use our “I Feel” form (click here to download), to use assertive language and ask for what you need. (We talk about this in minisode 6B: Build Your Arsenal by Learning to Set Boundaries.)
    • This may mean you need to let go of your controlling or perfectionistic tendencies. Trust the people you ask to do what you ask of them. Try not to be critical if they don’t do it the same way you would.
  • Set boundaries so that you’re living in alignment with your values. Don’t waste energy dealing with all the stress and anxious feelings that come with saying yes when you really want to say no.
  • Give to others to help lift your spirits even if it’s just by doing something small or thoughtful. Shovel the snow off a neighbors sidewalk, Venmo a friend $5 and say “coffee’s on me,” donate to a local food bank, or send a card or letter to say hello to someone you care about.
  • Change the scenery especially if you’re working from home switch your work area around so you get a new view, go outside periodically, or change what’s in your field of vision. This website allows you to look out through other people’s windows in different locations around the world.
  • Give the gift of time to yourself, your partner, your kids in whatever way makes the most sense for you. Allow yourself to  s  l  o  w  down.
  • If you need to (safely) get away and have some alone time:
    • Go for a long drive and listen to music, talk to a friend, or just quietly take in the scenery.
    • Park outside a library or business that has free wi-fi and watch a movie, take a call, or watch a movie on your phone or laptop.
  • Sleep and rest (when you can). It makes a huge impact on mental health.
  • Breathe. Step outside and spend a few minutes taking some slow deep breaths. While you’re doing that, take an inventory of your five senses. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you smell, hear, taste?
Resources & Recommendations
Credits and Thanks