"Summertime Sadness" might be a great Lana Del Rey song, but it’s also a very real struggle for many of us during the warm festive months. If you’re feeling the holiday melancholy setting in, here’s some advice on how to deal with it.

Identify your triggers

You may be feeling down for a number of reasons. For example, insecurities about body image are a big issue for many of us- summer body standards can be horrible! Or maybe you’re feeling pressured to spend money over the holidays that you just don’t have. Sometimes, the changes in the weather, your sleeping schedule and diet can also effect your mood. Whatever triggers your negative emotions, the first step to feeling better is to identify what it is about holiday time that’s making you feel this way. You’ll be able to deal with the issues much more effectively once you discover what they are.

Maintain a routine

Going from the very busy school year and exam time, to having nothing urgent to do all day, can leave you feeling quite lost. Thankfully, you can maintain a routine during your holidays by keeping a diary or calendar, and setting small goals for yourself over the summer break. Developing a daily routine where you exercise, work on an interest, do a free online course or any other activity, will keep you feeling refreshed and motivated.

Reach out to others

Curb those feelings of loneliness by making plans and going out with friends and family. They may also be feeling the holiday blues without you even realising it. Holidays are the time to relax and reconnect with the important people in our lives. So, take this precious opportunity to reach out to the ones you love- they probably need the support just as much as you do.

Set boundaries

If your holiday blues are brought on by a particular person or situation, it may be best to keep your distance. Setting boundaries may be difficult to do, especially at family events. However, remember that you have a right to choose who and what to allow within your personal space, physically as well as mentally.

Bring holiday cheer

Bringing holiday cheer to others if you’re not feeling cheerful yourself may sound a bit weird at first. However, you’d be surprised how much helping others out can boost your own mood. December Holidays are the perfect time to volunteer at a soup kitchen or get involved in a project that’s helping those less fortunate in your community.

The holiday blues may make you feel confused, especially when everyone around you seems to be having so much fun. Remember that emotions are constantly changing, and it’s perfectly normal to feel a little sad, no matter what time of year it is. Dedicate your holiday time to taking care of yourself, and you’ll see how quickly your mood can be elevated!

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