Softening the Holiday Blues

3872762982_3b0b342711The holidays are upon us. While the rest of the world knows ‘tis the season to be jolly, some aren’t feeling festive. In fact, many feel particularly depressed and anxious to varying degrees during this time. It’s what we have come to know as the Christmas blues or holiday blues. How could this be?

There are plenty of reasons why people feel down during the holidays. Here, we will discuss each of them and explore the different ways to soften these holiday blues.

Causes of Holiday Blues

  • Financial hardshipNot everyone looks forward to the holidays simply because they can’t afford it. Some people have very limited financial resources that they might feel insufficient and incapable of finding joy during this time. As others would head to the malls to shop, these people might feel like they are outsiders looking in.
  • Pressure to feel joyfulBelieve it or not, there are people who get off on the wrong foot once Thanksgiving and Christmas season kicks in. The disparity between how others feel and what you think makes you feel somewhat guilty or confused. Don’t fret. You are not alone. There really are those who’d rather carry on with their lives just as they do despite being surrounded by all the festivities.
  • Remembrance of unhappy holidays pastWhether you’re aware of it or not, you remember every holiday spent. If the last one wasn’t at all pleasant, it may trigger anxiety at present time. At this point, you could keep wishing for that one splendid holiday in the past to return.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)You may not know this but many long for the presence of sunlight during the holidays. Its absence causes the phenomenon called seasonal affective disorder. This limited sunshine leads others feeling particularly sad. That’s why some would end up escaping to tropical countries, which is a good way of dealing.
  • LonelinessOne of the most common reasons why people have the holiday blues is because they don’t have anyone to spend it with. This is especially true among those who are working overseas and those who recently separated from their partner or family.
  • Loss of a loved oneHolidays are spent with loved ones and a time of reflection. When someone just lost someone near and dear to them, this season may not entirely be something they’re looking forward to. They miss their departed loved ones especially during this time of the year, wishing they were still around to celebrate.

Beating the Holiday Blues

It’s okay to feel what you feel

Don’t beat yourself up about feeling blue this season. The more you force yourself into feeling like everyone else, the more you’re going to make matters worse. Don’t think that there should be “shoulds” in this kind of situation.

  • Freshen up your perspectiveEven if you feel like the depression is taking over, know that you are still fully in charge of your life. For you to invite abundance in your life, you must learn how to give first. Whether it’s to volunteer, attend events you’ve always wanted to go to or meet new people, know that the dark corner you are in is not the only place that exists in this world.
  • Talk about itFor others, this can be particularly challenging. However, talking about it helps ease the pain and address the concern. In fact, now’s the best time to talk about it, with more of your support group (family, friends, etc) being available at this time. Having a conversation about it helps unburden yourself from all these feelings that may have been holding you up.
  • DisconnectIt’s easy to wish you were living the life of someone else, especially if you’re too engrossed online. Spending far too much time on Facebook or Instagram won’t help solve your holiday blue. If anything, it could worsen the way you feel. Disconnect from the digital world and connect with the real one. Click the “x” button and give your friend a call. You’ll feel much happier hearing updates from people you care about than thousands you barely know.
  • Include the departedIt’s not at all bizarre to include our departed loved ones during this time. In fact, it’s much better to have their presence with us. From putting candles beside their photos to preparing their favorite food, it’s good to commemorate the departed while we celebrate. After dinner, you can even gather the family, bring out the old photos and take a trip down the memory lane. This way, the happier memories will trump the sad ones.
  • Keep yourself distractedRelease differs from one person to the next. Others may opt to head to the gym while some would rather escape for a vacation far away. Whatever your favorite activities are, the important thing here is to keep yourself busy. Fight off the dark thoughts by staying active and spending time with the people you love.Like everything, this season too, shall pass. Who knows? There might just come a time when the holidays won’t feel so bad after all. Just remember, you are not alone. There will always be people ready to offer a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on.

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one please seek bereavement support.