How to Beat the Holiday Blues

Learn the 9 symptoms of depression and get 5 tips to beat the holiday blues

Sanaz Majd, MD
5-minute read
Episode #83

The holidays aren’t a cheerful time for everyone.  Believe it or not, more people suffer from depression this time of the year than any other.  Whether it’s the cold, gloomy weather, the yearning for our passed loved ones, financial stress, or family discord, it’s not always “the most wonderful time of the year.”.

How Do You Know If You Have the Holiday Blues?

Doctors in training use a mnemonic called “SIG E CAPS” to help them remember the signs and symptoms of depression and to determine if someone is clinically depressed.  This doctor secret is a great way to determine if you suffer from any of the following symptoms of depression during the holidays:

S = Sleep

Do you find yourself needing to sleep more than usual during holiday time? Do you nap during the daytime when you didn’t before?  Or, alternatively, do you find it difficult to fall asleep, or do you wake up during the night?  Those with depression often suffer from sleeping difficulties, whether it’s more or less sleep.

I = Interest

Do you find yourself not enjoying activities you used to enjoy, like setting up the holiday decorations?  Do you find pleasure in your usual hobbies?  Do you lack the desire to be with others or to go out and do things (like shopping) the way you used to? People suffering from depression admit that they lack pleasure in previously enjoyable activities. The fancy doctor term for this is “anhedonia,” or the inability to feel pleasure

G = Guilt or Feelings of Worthlessness

Do you feel guilty or blame yourself for family discord arising during the holidays?  Do you feel as though you have no hope? Do you feel worthless?  It’s very common for those with depression to have these thoughts.


Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

About the Author

Sanaz Majd, MD

Dr. Sanaz Majd is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Her special interests are women's health and patient education.