Overcoming Holiday Blues: Tips for Men

Of course men have Holiday Blues.  Just as some women, some men have difficult times facing and living through the holiday season.  Men will often defer to women to provide the holiday spirit and social plans.  They may act like curmudgeons, and find humor in their distaste of holidays.  They may not be involved in buying or wrapping presents, and certainly wouldn’t send their own personal holiday greetings.   All this creates a look of disinterest in the holidays rather than “holiday blues”.

A dread of the holiday season can be linked to several possible sources.   For some, holidays are reminders of bad times.  Childhood memories of dysfunctional family relations are usually prime reasons for bad associations to holidays.  Memories of alcohol related family fights, abuse and drama may remain etched and associated to holiday dinners and presents.

Happy memories of warm and loving times can also create nostalgia for some who feel the loss and feel that they cannot re-create the same good times. Men who have depended upon women to create holiday warmth and social gatherings also feel at a loss when they are single or single again.

A recent loss of a loved one or of a significant other or spouse can be devastating. When experiencing the first holiday season without that person it is natural to feel sadness; but for some, the feeling can be very intense, overwhelming and feel intolerable.

Although most people think they’re not affected by childhood memories or a break-up or divorce anymore, the telltale sign is holiday blues.  How to handle these?  How to feel better?
Here are some tips.

Recognize what your inner feelings are regarding the holiday season. Think back about your childhood memories of holidays.  What comes to mind? Were they unhappy and tense? Why?  Were they fun filled? Why? This will help you to identify your own feelings rather than be in denial and have these feelings affect you in negative ways.

Plan ahead and think about how you can spend the holiday season in the best way possible.  Think of developing your own tradition.

Instead of spending the holiday alone, make plans to spend it with another family or with other friends.  You may need to travel to be with these family members or friends.  Be more adventurous.

Plan a potluck dinner of your own.  Invite other single friends and neighbors.

Sometimes getting out of town and “avoiding” the holiday season may feel best.  Plan a ski trip or tropical vacation.  Find a friend to come along.

Talk with others about your feelings.  If you’re sad feelings continue well beyond the holidays, you may be depressed and would be best helped by talking with a psychologist or psychotherapist.

The holiday season can be a time of sadness and stress, or they can be times of merriment and warmth.  You can make this time of year good for you by thinking about your own personal feelings and planning ahead.

By Elaine Rodino


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About erodino

Elaine Rodino, PhD., is CEO of Senior Premier Dating LLC, is a licensed psychologist in private practice. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Pennsylvania Psychological Association and the Los Angeles Society of Clinical Psychologists. Dr. Rodino is a past president of the APA Divisions of Independent Practice, The Society for Media Psychology and Technology, Central Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Los Angeles County Psychological Association (LACPA), the Foundation of LACPA, and recipient of the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Media Psychology Award, and the Distinguished Service Award to LACPA. She has appeared on T.V. and radio and contributes to magazines, newspapers and online health sites on issues regarding Couples, Relationships, Sandwich Generation, Holiday Blues, and other popular topics.

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