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Holiday Depression? 8 Steps To Be Happy

Holidays are coming! Some are having the times of their life during Winter holidays: parties, friends, celebrations, cheering, sharing, etc.. Some find this time of the year very demanding. Most of us experience something in-between these two extremes: fun in some situation, pressure in others. Joy of sharing time with people we love, uncertainty about how to deal with holidays pressure.


These are 8 steps you can embrace to live joyfully during the holidays. You can live happily by:


Being present, and accepting

Start with yourself. If you feel joyful in the situation you are now, than enjoy it fully and share it with people around you! No matter what we are conditioned into thinking, joy comes from inside, and grows when shared. Not from the latest gadget on sale, nor from getting a career advancement.

If you feel the current situation is neutral, for example now that you are reading this post and the holidays celebrations are not here yet, then just enjoy the space. Right here and now, everything is fine. When the time for celebrations comes, then you will have plenty of energy and resources to be part of it.

If you find yourself in a situation which is not comfortable, then just breath. Breath in, breath out, Breath slowly, to relax your sympathetic system. You may have your lucky charm, your favourite jokes to tell, etc. However, sometimes you may not be able to use them. Breathing is always with you, so keep it your friend.

Then be aware of people and surroundings. We are all on the same boat, with our ups and downs. With our strengths and question marks. With our funny jokes, and cliches. Accept people as they are, give them space. Most they will respond by accepting you as you are.

Let the “ghosts” of past and future holidays go. Accept the past holidays are gone. Accept the future holidays are far from now. Be in the present moment.

Positive phrasing

For these holidays, and for most of your life, visualize more what you want to be, and less what you want to move away from. If I say you: “do not think about the pink tree!”, what do you visualize? A pink tree! Positive visualizations and course of actions, being/doing what you want to be/do, are more powerful than negative ones (moving away from something).


Some of us recharge while being in a group. They feel the energy coming from other beings. Some of us recharge in a quiet environment. Their energy grows while in nature, reading a book, etc. Know what recharges you, and refill your batteries for the holidays.


Embracing diversity

Variety, the spicy of life! The holidays may be a once a life-time (or at least, once in a year) opportunity to get to know better people you meet daily in formal settings. Or to touch base with family members. Any inspiration, for your new year, you can take from them?


Sharing the ride, and volunteering

Can you share with a trusted friend your feelings about the holidays times? Spontaneously, by sharing some of the ups and downs. Without emphasizing any specific aspect.

Balance this “holiday budding” with sharing your real gifts (not the material ones!) with society. Can you volunteer for a shelter, canteen, senior’s group, etc.? By shifting the attention from you to other precious beings, you reconnect with your real nature.

Eating properly

Holidays are a great time to get to taste again your auntie’s cake, etc. Considering food portions at most of holidays event come in generous sizes, ensure to have at home only healthy ingredients for cooking, like fresh vegetables and fruits. That is your detox time.

If you want to feel calmer, make yourself a relaxing tea before an event, and stay sober during parties. No matter what your priorities are during the holidays, you benefit from feeding your body and mind with appropriate food, in appropriate quantities, when you have most of the saying in your menu’: at home. This ensures you have full energy available.


Get plenty of walking, and fresh air. Limit your car usage to the minimum.  If you already have a regular schedule (gym, yoga, pilates, etc.) try to keep it, or modify it to ensure you get your physical activity.

After a generous lunch and some talking, excuse yourself and take a short walk near-by. You can bring some friends/relatives with you, or just have a quiet walk.

Having a plan B

When you are in a quiet environment, where you feel safe and in peace, enjoy the blissful experience. And gently touch one area of your body (ex.: wrist). If, for any reason, you find your inner peace feels shaken during the holidays, just centre your attention on your breath as it is. And gently touch again your chosen spot. Your breath and your peaceful spot have always been there, are there now, and always will be. And so is your ability to enjoy life as it unfolds, during holidays and during the rest of the year.


About the author: Frank is Dharma instructor, life-coach, well-being facilitator. He is Italian and has travelled to over 30 countries and 80 cities. He meet different cultures, sharing the same quest for meaning and joy in life common to all of us. For more free information, and discounts on his eBook/eCourse, please visit:

Related Reading:

10 Ways to be Happy, On Purpose

How To Prevent Seasonal Mood Disorder




20 Responses to Holiday Depression? 8 Steps To Be Happy

  1. Guest says:

    Thanks for this. It can be hard admit that people get holiday depression and this would be helpful!

  2. Guest says:

    Thanks for this. It can be hard admit that people get holiday depression and this would be helpful!

  3. very cool post! i liked it! thank you

  4. Frank Ra says:

    Thanks for the feedback! Yes, admitting (and accepting) one’s condition is the first step towards committing to change.

    Holidays can be a wonderful time, however they may come with pressure and expectations, which affect the way we enjoy them. All the best!


  5. ML Quotes says:

    “Their energy grows while in nature”…even during winter, nature gives us powerful energies….”IN EVERY walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir”

  6. The information is presented clearly. Thanks for this article. 

  7. Clint Cora says:

    I’ll add another one that really works for me and that’s to be in the good company of my pets.  All pet owners out there will agree that our dogs and cats do absolute wonders to our well being.  They have the ability to take us from really low points and at least help us understand that we are not alone in this world.

  8. Carolyn says:

    Very refreshing post! Easy and practical advice. Sometimes we need to slow down and live in the moment in order to absorb it fully and enjoy it for all that it’s worth!

  9. Carolyn says:

    Very refreshing post! Easy and practical advice. Sometimes we need to
    slow down and live in the moment in order to absorb it fully and enjoy
    it for all that it’s worth!

  10. Frank Ra says:

    Thanks  Lakhvir for sharing your kind feedback!

  11. Frank Ra says:

    Thanks Clint! That is true, pets do make a difference in our lives, and we hopefully make a difference in theirs as well! The connection between the company of pets, empathy and well-being would deserve a post of its own.

  12. Frank Ra says:

    Thanks for sharing, and good luck.

  13. Clint Cora says:

    Yes you are right, that’s why I do have a post here on Lifehack some time back on the benefits of pets :)

  14. Frank Ra says:

    THANKS  Carolyn! Yes, that is a fair summary of joyful living :-)

  15. The Vizier says:

    Hi Frank,

    I love your 8 steps on how we can embrace joy during the holidays.  The following stand out in particular for me.

    Being present and accepting

    All we really have in life are moments.  If we live in the past or the future instead of the present, we will miss these moments.  And moments are one of the things that matter most especially when we share them with our loved ones.  Things may not always be perfect or wonderful, but you can be present and make the best of each moment.  


    It is easy to let ourselves go during the holidays.  But this will only lead to problems in the coming year.  This after all is not the end of the world or the last holiday you will ever have.  So moderation and balance is important as you rightly pointed out in your points on exercising and eating properly.  

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article!

    Irving the Vizier

  16. Being present and accepting the situation as it is, helps me indeed to be joyful, also without having a holiday

  17. Frank Ra says:

    Thanks Irving! Yes! Moderation, living the holidays through “a middle way”, is very important. Both in terms of food intake/physical activity, and attitudes. Have a wonderful day!

  18. Frank Ra says:

    Thanks Marc! That is true. While the examples provided are relevant to holidays, most of the tips here can be applied to live joyfully… on a daily basis.

    A year-long holiday in joy and sharing :-)

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  20. Apple doost says:


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