In our cultural imagination, the Christmas season and the holidays in general, are supposed to bring joy as we spend more time with family and friends. The reality however, is that this season can also be a time of difficult memories, expectations and disappointment, and stress.
Depression of course, is a medical term used to characterize more than just mere sadness. This needs to be emphasized because of the under education and stigmatization that centers around mental illness.
1. In the first place, remember that you probably didn’t have entire control of the root cause of your holiday blues. (And if you haven’t figured out the source, try to do so this year. ) Oftentimes such experiences might take place in childhood, and we carry the weight with us into adulthood.
2. Remember not to deny yourself the need for alone time. Much of the time during the holidays, you may feel overwhelmed by either being around people too much, or somehow still feeling lonely in a crowded room.
3. Remember to practice kindness and care towards yourself. It is indeed the season for giving, and give you should, to others. You’ll find that focusing a lot on those who aren’t as fortunate as you during this time of year, keeps you busy.
4. Remember to be wary of making any major life decisions right now. Chances are, you instinctively feel under a lot more stress, even if it may not actually be any more than the ordinary amount of stress you face during any other time of year.
5. Remember to be objective about the kind of year you’ve had. Yes, some things have not gone your way. And yes, you may have faced losses and defeats and disappointments.
6. Remember everyone who loves you. It is easy to feel pressure during this time of year. The pressure of getting gifts and going to parties and being around loved ones and strangers, who expect you to perform that most wonderful time of the year demeanor.
7. Remember that you are capable of giving this time of year new meaning and new memories. It is very important for you to know this if you struggle with sadness during this time of year: your memories are fictional.
8. Remember that you don’t have to do more than you can. Set limits and keep to them. And if possible, avoid taking on things that you don’t enjoy, and that you merely put pressure on yourself to accomplish.