Holidays are hard for many people for a variety of reasons under normal circumstances. But 2020 has not been a year of normal circumstances. Your readers may be going through the holiday blues. They may be dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). How can you help your readers manage the holiday blues in 2020?
As you know, regularly posted blogs provide clients and potential clients with online resources. You can use your powers of writing for good by addressing the holiday blues. But what are the holiday blues?
VeryWellMind defines the holiday blues as “Feelings of sadness that last throughout the holiday season—especially during the months of November and December.”  They can be connected to SAD, but usually only last through December. SAD can last from fall through the winter.
The holiday blues aren’t about feeling sad that the holidays are over. They’re about all of the emotions that come with the holidays. Maybe your readers have lost loved ones. They could be lonely and without plans. They might feel like they’re supposed to be merry and cheerful and into the holiday spirit but just can’t muster up those feelings.
Whatever it is, you can help. And you can do it through your writing in addition to the mental health services you provide.
Here are five ways to help your readers manage the holiday blues in 2020.
1. Practice a Healthy Diet and Exercise
We all know exercise is good for us. Overeating is bad. Yet it’s easy to fall into the trap of sitting on the couch with a pint of ice cream and a bag of potato chips when we’re feeling down.
Instead, encourage your readers to spend 20-30 minutes a day exercising. They can take a brisk walk if they’re not big into exercising, but they should get moving and release those mood-boosting endorphins.
Overeating is easy to do when we’re feeling down. Especially if we have time off and we’re bored. But binge-eating doesn’t make us feel better at any point except for in the moment. In fact, overeating causes feelings of guilt that add to the complicated emotions connected to the holiday blues.
Your writing can reflect healthy ways to manage diet and exercise during the holidays.
However, this year there are bound to be less feasts and opportunities for overeating at gatherings as people stay in their homes rather than get together with friends and family, as in years past. So encourage your readers in your blogs to come up with an exercise and diet plan and find a way to stick to it. This doesn’t have to be about New Year’s resolutions either. In fact, it shouldn’t be. We’re all hoping 2021 will be a better year, but you don’t want to set up your readers for disappointment and mismanaged expectations.
2. Help Your Readers Manage Their Alcohol Consumption
It’s become very easy to have a drink every day during this time of quarantine and isolation. Soon one drink becomes 3 and then before you know it you’ve drank an entire bottle of wine in one night. Or more.
This represents your average Joe. But add the holiday blues into the mix and that can mean trouble. When you’re trying to manage the holiday blues in 2020, it’s very easy to over-do it on the alcohol.
Most likely you work with clients who struggle with alcohol issues. You know how to help them manage their relationship with alcohol. How can you do that through your writing?
Blogs are, once again, a great way to provide resources to clients and potential clients. Maybe there are people out there struggling with managing the holiday blues in 2020. They find your blog. You offer insight into how to manage alcohol consumption during the holidays. Your blog addresses the importance of limiting alcohol consumption when you’re managing the holiday blues. Just like that, you’ve provided someone with resources they might otherwise not have when dealing with the holiday blues in 2020.
3. Encourage Your Readers to Give Themselves a Break
This year has caused a lot more stress than a typical year. It’s important for your readers to take time for themselves while managing the holiday blues. But this year, it’s even more important to cut themselves some slack. How do they give themselves a break?
When managing the holiday blues in 2020, we all need a break. The holidays offer some much needed downtime. However, when you’re dealing with the holiday blues, downtime might be difficult to deal with.
You can encourage your readers to find things to do that bring them joy. Read a good book. Watch a movie or TV series they enjoy. Do a puzzle. Bake.
These are all things that can be done alone in the house. Obviously it would be great if your readers lived with others and weren’t completely alone, but the 2020 reality is that many people are by themselves. This is hard under normal circumstances. When you add the holidays into the equation and mix it with the difficult year that is 2020, finding things to do that spark joy while alone is hard.
You can absolutely provide your readers with resources to find ways to take time for themselves. Give examples of things to do, including some of the things I mentioned before. Your work involves helping your clients manage stress, anxiety, and depression. You’re good at coming up with healthy ways to manage stress and I have no doubt you’ll be able to come up with ways to manage the holiday blues in 2020.
4. Address Isolation
2020 has created a time of isolation the likes of which we have never seen. With people being forced to stay in their homes, many people are more lonely than ever. Add the holiday blues to that equation and you’re looking at a recipe for worsened depression, fear, stress, and anxiety.
Similar to encouraging your readers to take time for themselves, it’s important to find ways to manage the holiday blues during 2020 while feeling isolated. Your readers are looking to you for guidance.
Provide resources to help combat isolation. Write about how it feels to be isolated during the holidays in 2020. Many people aren’t getting to see their friends and family this holiday season due to COVID-19. For some this may be a relief, but for many it’s devastating.
Talk about isolation and depression. Talk about SAD. Talk about what your readers can do to manage the isolation they feel along with the holiday blues in 2020.
5. Help Your Readers Set Realistic Expectations
The holidays are all about managing expectations under normal circumstances. But in 2020 our expectations need more management than usual. It’s important for your readers to set realistic expectations about what their holidays will look like. How do they manage the holidays blues in 2020 while feeling isolated and alone?
This is the time to provide resources through blogs and emails to help your readers navigate the expectation game. The American Psychological Association breaks down tips to manage expectations during the holidays :
- Be proactive
- Keep things in perspective
- Remember what’s important
- Take time for yourself
That article was written three years ago so it doesn’t take into account the holiday blues in 2020, but it does act as a springboard for some ideas for resources for your readers. Pick a topic (or all of them) to write about to provide the resources your readers need this holiday season.
Manage Your Own Expectation This Holiday Season
Managing the holiday blues in 2020 is about managing our expectations. As much as you want your readers to manage their expectations, it’s important to manage your own. The truth is, you can’t do it alone.
Hire a mental health copywriter who understands your struggles and can help you get rid of the burden of writing these resources for your reader.
If you’re ready to take the next step, contact me to set up a call to discuss your copywriting needs. Let’s figure out together how we can help your readers manage the holiday blues in 2020.