Holiday Depression: How to Cope When You’re Too Sad to Celebrate
Holiday depression is real! This is the month when you’re expected to be exceedingly cheerful and yet you might feel the saddest.
The holiday season is notorious not only for decorations and large meals but also feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. Yes, holiday depression can even affect those who haven’t been officially diagnosed with any type of depression.
In fact, many people simply feel too sad to celebrate the holidays.
If you’ve experienced this in your own life, then consider the following tips to help you cope with holiday depression.
Tip: Accept the Way You Feel
It’s true that most people don’t want to admit that they’re sad. After all, this is supposed to a be a happy time of year.
Though, it’s also the time when end-of-the-year deadlines at work put pressure on many people. Plus, seasonal events have a tendency to book so much of the calendar, leaving many people feeling drained.
Although you might feel like you can just going through the motions, it’s important to acknowledge the way you actually feel.
Validate your feelings of sadness. Explore the reasons why you feel sad instead of bottling it up. This is an important step in coping with holiday depression.
Tip: Focus on Self-Care
With the busy December schedule screaming in your face, it can get very easy to forget about what you need. After all, it’s a season of giving and a season of deadlines, so the wants or needs of others, not your own, usually make the top of the list.
When you’re struggling with holiday depression, though, your self-care routine needs to remain a priority. It doesn’t have to be grandiose like getting a two-hour massage every weekend. But, it does need to be something just for you—reading a book, lunch with a friend, or even just getting enough sleep.
When your self-care gets bumped to the bottom of the list, your happiness gauge tends to run on empty. Keep self-care at the top, and you’ll keep your tank full.
Tip: Give Up on Perfectionism
One main culprit to holiday depression is having unrealistic expectations of the season. We all want to experience the glow of the holidays as seen on the Hallmark channel. The only problem with this is that it’s not reality.
To alleviate holiday depression it’s time to give up being perfect. You are human. You might even burn the sugar cookies or mismatch bows and wrapping paper.
Now is the time to put the perfectionism aside and embrace the natural passion you feel inside for your life. Passion for life, in general, goes a lot farther than temporary holiday cheer.
Tip: Avoid Comparisons on Social Media
This holiday season might be the perfect time to temporarily get off of social media. The reason behind this bold move is to help you not compare your life with others.
Unsurprisingly, social media has a reputation for being somewhat of a facade for life. People put the the best of their lives on there.
You might know this in the back of your mind already. Sometimes, though, seeing pictures of a seemingly perfect life allows feelings of inadequacy to overtake your emotions. So rather than struggle with unfair comparisons, stay focused on your own life.
Tip: Practice Gratefulness
Along with avoiding comparisons, you can cope with holiday depression by being thankful. It seems simple, but it’s actually a very powerful attitude to possess.
To be thankful, you must examine your life. That way, you get a chance to look at the good and the bad. Most of the time, even during lean years, the good outweighs the bad.
Most likely, you’ll soon discover that your life is filled with a lot of things to be happy about. This shift in focus isn’t a magic pill, but it does help to give power to the forces that battled holiday depression.
If you’re suffering from holiday depression and just can’t seem to find joy, then I’d love for you to reach out to me. We can tackle any negative feelings you’re experiencing together so that your holidays are something to celebrate.
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