What are Festive Blues?

It’s finally come time to admit it: I suffer from festive blues.

By no means am I saying that I’m a Scrooge shouting Bah Humbug at carol singers or at children skipping on their merry way to a nativity play.

However around Christmas I do become more depressed and far more snappy with people. No matter how much I want to be on my own sometimes, I believe we should be more open with how we are feeling during this time of year because it’s a good reminder that we aren’t alone and these feelings are only temporary.

What are the festive blues:

The holiday season can trigger depression or depression-like symptoms for a number of reasons:

  • economic circumstances,
  • stress,
  • life situation (break up, death of a loved one),
  • family dysfunction,
  • less sunlight,
  • Unrealistic expectations (comparing self to others)
  • Alcohol intake
  • change in diet and routine etc.

I think it’s key to remember that a lot more people are affected during the festive season than we realise. None of us are alone in these feelings but we all have our individual ways of coping.


  • Feelings of loneliness
  • Fatigue
  • Sadness
  • Tension
  • Lashing out
  • Sense of loss
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of being left out

The cause of my festive blues:

This is going to make me sound like a total millennial but the major cause for my holiday blues is:

  • having very high expectations for the picture-perfect festive season and comparing my Christmas to previous years and to others.

When reality inevitably doesn’t meet my expectations, I inevitably don’t feel good. Nothing will ever be good enough.

How to combat festive blues:

  • Try and stay in the present- turn off your phone and stop comparing
  • Have some alone time- don’t isolate yourself but remember to look after yourself especially if you are burning the candle at both ends
  • Don’t compare your insides to another person’s outsides
  • Set an end of year goal
  • Start a gratitude journal
  • Give back
  • Plan a getaway
  • Speak to someone
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • Set reasonable expectations for the holiday season
  • Delete instagram temporarily

Have you experienced Festive Blues? How did you combat it?