Updated: Mar 31
During the Christmas season, many individuals look forward to spending time with their families and friends. Unfortunately, many of us find the Christmas season something to endure rather than something to enjoy. Christmas may be a difficult time of year for many people. The season brings up memories and intensifies emotions of abandonment and loneliness.
If you're feeling extra down this time of year, you are not alone. In this article, we'll discuss the common Christmas depression and 9 tips on how to get through the Christmas depression.
Some of us celebrate Christmas because it is traditional, rather than it being necessarily enjoyable. Christmas depression is common. Especially for those who are already dealing with loneliness, depression, or other mental health issues. On top of that, you might feel bad for feeling bad during such a 'happy' season. Even for those with no existing mental health issues, the pressure to have the 'Perfect Christmas' and to be happy during this period can be stressful.
During the holiday season, you're more likely to mourn the loss of loved ones. It is no surprise that the urge to disappear increases during the holiday season. If you are lonely, and everyone seems to be surrounded by loved ones during Christmas, you might feel more lonely. People of all ages, not just the elderly, are affected by loneliness. Many younger people will also find themselves lonely during times of togetherness. People post pictures, videos, and comments on social media about their holiday plans, giving the impression that everyone except you is having the ideal Christmas.
You could also be suffering from Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), otherwise known as seasonal depression. The depression often starts in the fall and gets worse during the winter. It could also cultivate during the summer, but this is less common. If you are experiencing seasonal depression, you should seek treatment with a mental health professional.
Also worth mentioning is that due to the winter season being extra dark outside, you might lack vitamin D. According to studies, depression can be connected to Vitamin D insufficiency. During times of sadness, it's not a bad idea to see your local doctor to check up on your vitamin levels. It might be hard to grasp, but your body has a significant impact on your mental state.
Here are some tips to get yourself through the holiday depression.
9 tips to get you through the holiday's depression
1. Don't idealize the perfect Christmas
We idealize what the holidays should be like, and we're upset when it doesn't meet our expectations. No one has the perfect Christmas or family. Avoid putting too much pressure on yourself to be happy, and that you should enjoy the holidays. Likewise, don't overthink your relationships with people. It's easy to be disappointed that the present holiday doesn't match the nostalgic feeling of prior holidays. Allow yourself to enjoy each holiday to the fullest without comparing it to others. They won't all be the same, and they won't all be great. Give yourself a break this holiday season.
2. Say no
When you're asked to do more than you can handle, it's fine to say no. Decline certain invites or requests for favors. Do what makes you happy and what you desire. If you want to be alone, go on a stroll or spend some time alone. Remember that this is also your holiday, and you can be there for yourself in the same way that you are there for others.
3. Move on
We mourn over the ones we've lost, especially during Christmas. It's good to think about them for a moment, but we shouldn't stay stuck in that emotion. It's not what they would have wanted. Allow yourself to move on and to be happy.
4. Have a routine and have enough sleep
Not having or a change in routine can lead to additional stress. Try to exercise at your usual time, go to bed at the same hour, wake up at the same time, go to meetings that you normally go to, and stick to a diet. The Christmas stress might make it difficult to relax. There are several things to complete and places to visit. Take care of your body before you make plans.
5. Stay connected and ask for help if you need it
Even though it may feel tempting to isolate yourself during the holidays, you should stay connected to the ones who value you. Spend some time with friends and/or family. If they don’t live close by, call them. The holidays are typically a time when people try to do too much on their own. Ask for help if you need it. Whether it's for decorating, shopping, cooking, or just a shoulder to cry on.
6. Alcohol and food regulation
Overeating and consuming alcohol may temporarily ease your depression, but as it states, it is temporary and can lead to feelings of guilt.
7. Be yourself, it's easier
Being among relatives and old friends can transform you into the person you used to be rather than the person you are now. Take a step back and recall who you are today when you feel yourself relapsing to old childhood routines with family members. You don't have to play the same role you did when you were younger or as the year before. Be you.
8. Avoid tradition if you want to
The holidays are full of traditions. If you're depressed, you might not want to go through the motions of your regular yearly routines. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to keep up with things you used to do. It's fine to loosen up on certain traditions until you feel better.
9. Get Professional Help