Holiday Blues 2021!

                                                                                       (Photo by Rod Long)

                       An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates

                                                                                   Volume 15, Number 12

The holiday season is here. While it is a time of happiness for many, there are those of us who get very sad and depressed during this time. Some of it may be due to SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder but most of it is due to confusing virus information, perceived obligations, expectations of how things used to be, worries about things that may or may not happen, and missing those who have passed. The expectations to visit family, shop for the best bargains of the year, and to be happy may be too much for many people. This is all against the backdrop of Covid fatigue.

This is the Holiday Blues.

But this can also be a time for Holiday Happiness. It all depends on the choices we make. We can give in to the unhappiness and worry or we can decide to make this a meaningful holiday season.

Our December E-Letter is about Holiday Blues 2021. Dr. Kimmel’s blog about sunsets can be found in the blog section of our website. We hope you find the enclosed information helpful and interesting. We also thank you for reading our e-Letters and for the numerous positive and compassionate comments we have received.

KimmelPsychology has provided a monthly E-Letter for over 16 years, which is educational, informative, and helpful. Topics change every month, but the format remains the same; brief information about the topic as well as suggestions for improvement. You are invited to email your thoughts to Dr. Kimmel at [email protected].

Make sure to read the latest blog addition here.


The entire staff at Joel l. Kimmel Ph.D. P. A. and Associates would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers a very happy and healthy holiday season and a peaceful new year.

An Exciting Offer! The Push for PCC!
Our Life Transformation Coach, Meredith Kimmel, ACC, is pursuing an additional credential. Highly trained and experienced, she is working towards acquiring the next higher level of coaching, the PCC or Professional Certified Coach credential from the International Coaching Federation. Already an Associate Certified Coach, ACC, she is working towards this credential to be able to mentor coaching students, develop other coaches, and teach in accredited coach training programs.

This is a very personal goal for Meredith and as a result, she created the “The Push For PCC” coaching package which is a win-win for her and for people who want or need coaching. The package includes 12 1-to-1 coaching sessions. Each session is an hour long and conducted via Zoom or telephone. This is a unique opportunity as the sessions are greatly discounted. This win-win package is being offered only to the first twenty-five people who register for it and only a few spots remain.

Take this opportunity If you are:

  • in the process of change or will be
  • if you are uncertain what to do
  • if you have always wanted to be coached.
  • To find out more about coaching or the PCC package, visit Meredith’s website at You can also email Meredith at [email protected] or call her at (954) 655-7066.

    KimmelPsychology has committed itself to being available for anyone who is in need of support, therapy, psychiatric consultation, professional coaching, and online psychological and psychoeducational evaluations. We practice telehealth and have also returned to safe, in-office visits. We can be reached by calling our office at 954 755-2885 or by going to the Our Staff page on our website,

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    Holiday Blues 2021!

                                                                               (Photo by Volodymyr Hyrshchenko)

    The holiday season is supposed to be a time for joy, friendliness, fellowship and harmony. Peace on earth and good will towards men are traditional messages. Today, the holiday spirit seems to have been replaced by consumerism. Sales, discounts, and bargains are everywhere you look with pressure to buy now.

    In addition, we live in incredibly stressful times. This is not only due to the pandemic or political divisiveness but also to the rapid changes in our lives brought on by technology, social media, and changing social norms.

    Many people experience the “holiday blues” as they feel overwhelmed, pulled in different directions, have memories of past holidays, spend too much, eat too much, and are worried about getting everything done. This time of the year is often packed with constant activity including holiday parties, visits from family members, traveling to see family, shopping, overeating, and overdrinking. Those of us who have suffered losses find it difficult to watch family-oriented shows and commercials on television as they highlight the loss. For these reasons, the holiday season can be a difficult time.

    Yet the holiday season can also be a time for happiness, but it takes work. Happiness can be achieved this season as long as one actively pursues it. The field of positive psychology has shown over and over again that doing positive activities increases happiness and well-being. One must be proactive and determined to be happy in order to feel happy.

    Some simple and basic strategies that can reduce and eliminate the “holiday blues” include:

  • limiting your news intake
  • keeping to a shopping budget
  • participating in holiday rituals and traditions
  • making personal time to recharge yourself
  • setting realistic expectations for what you need/want to do
  • giving gratitude for what you have
  • volunteering to help those who are less fortunate
  • taking care of your body and not overindulge in alcohol, drugs, or eating
  • connect with those people who are important in your life
  • exercise and use relaxation techniques to keep you from getting stressed
  • To have holiday happiness, make the choice to actively work to enjoy the holiday season. The rewards can be huge.

    Holiday Blues 2021!

                                        Just get me through December, A promise I’ll remember
                                       Get me through December, So I can start again…Natalie Macmaster


  • Holiday blues are often caused by too much worry, too much family, too much food, too many obligations, too much money spent, etc.
  • The holiday time is a special time where people believe they should be happy, friendly, loving, and caring but often feel anxious and sad
  • Worrying is extremely high and Covid has made us feel more anxious; we are confused about what we can do, whether there will be another variant, etc.
  • The holiday message is also lost among hurry-up sales and bargains
  • Good will toward men and peace on earth is absent in the headlines of hate, sexism, racism, antisemitism, lies, and divisive attacks
  • The holiday season tends to magnify everything and this year, a lot of us feel tired, anxious, angry, and depressed
  • By reframing your thinking, the holidays can be seen as an opportunity for happiness
  • Positive psychologists believe that pursuing happiness will make you feel better and increase your well-being; they suggest that you actively
  • tell others the messages of the holiday season
  • develop optimistic attitudes
  • express gratitude
  • do simple positive activities
  • be mindful in any activity
  • participate in holiday traditions
  • practice acts of kindness
  • Recognize that you have a clear choice:
  • either give in to holiday stress and likely be depressed or
  • make an effort to enjoy the holiday season

  • Keep your expectations realistic
  • Be optimistic and know that the stressful holiday season will pass
  • Express gratitude as a sign of appreciation for what you do have
  • Be selfless and practice acts of kindness
  • Maintain relationships since connecting with friends prevents loneliness
  • Exercise and do not overindulge in drinking or eating
  • Use relaxation exercises to cope with stress and negativity
  • Be charitable, give to others, and help those less fortunate
  • Journal and/or take pictures of happy holiday experiences
  • Reach out to those you have lost touch with and are important to you
  • Develop your own personal holiday tradition that is meaningful to you
  • Seek professional help if you feel depressed and are unable to find any moments of happiness

    Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at [email protected]

    Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
    5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
    Coral Springs FL 33067

    As always, we are interested in your thoughts. If you would like to respond to this e-Letter, email me your comments at [email protected] and I will publish them next month.

    Till January…

    The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

    If you no longer wish to receive future E-Letter reminders, please send an email to [email protected] requesting to be removed from this list.

    If you find this information interesting or helpful, please forward this E-Letter to your contacts and friends. Copyright © 2021 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.