Difficulty in coping with holiday stress is the major cause of Christmas depression. Making you feel sadder, it seems that everyone around you is happy, but you.
Christmas is the happiest time of the year, isn’t it? Well, the truth is that, for some people, Christmas and the holidays can be very sad…even depressing.
And people who feel depressed can feel guilty about feeling unhappy at Christmas—which makes them feel even more depressed!
Managing Christmas Depression
For some of us, no matter how hard we try, we feel sad at Christmas time. In fact, the harder you try to look happy, the worse you feel.
Christmas depression is far more common than you probably think. I’d be willing to wager that you know at least one or two people who will suffer from depression during the holidays this year.
Let’s look at some of the reasons that people get the “Holiday Blues”.
Family issues – Sometimes it seems that you can ignore the same old family issues during the year. But, at Christmas, your family probably gets together, and the family games begin.
People misbehave and hurt each other emotionally—just as they have done for years. Families have patterns of interactions that they repeat, year after year.
For example, every year when your family gets together, John comments on how Sue has gained weight and never seems to get a grasp on her “weight problem”. Sue is hurt and responds in an angry fashion. And so, the traditional holiday family fight has begun. Everyone is embarrassed, annoyed and feeling stressed. It happens every year.
Tip – Wishing that it will be different this year—won’t work! Be realistic about your expectations. Either accept the fact that it will happen again this year (We don’t control the actions of others), or send your regrets for not coming this year. And find another way to spend the day, with more positive people.
Time pressure – Most of us over-commit our time at Christmas, or we overestimate what we can actually get done. At some point the time crunch becomes apparent—and many of us end up in tears!
Tip – Learn to say “no” if you will be pressed for time.
Memories of Christmases past – At Christmas (and other holidays) we remember those who are no longer with us. We remember the good times and the bad. We remember events around the holidays and relationships of former years. Those memories can make us sad.
Tip – Talk about your feelings and share the memories with someone that you trust, and then concentrate on enjoying the holiday, in the moment.
Financial worries – Of course you want the people you love to have a wonderful Christmas. And, for many, that means buying things. Unfortunately many of us charge items that we can’t pay for right now.
If you or your spouse has lost a job recently, you have a lot less money to spend. If you spend more than you have, getting into debt over Christmas gifts, you will probably find yourself worrying over how you will pay the upcoming bills. Worrying can lead to holiday depression or the “post holiday blues”.
Tip – Make a budget and stick to it…
Kids who demand more than you can give – When your children see others getting big, expensive gifts, they may ask for the same. If you simply can’t do it, this can lead to guilt, frustration and eventually, depression.
Comparing yourself to others – Everyone else seems happy (even if they aren’t). If you don’t FEEL happy, you feel guilty about that and you wonder why you aren’t like everyone else. Things aren’t always what they seem.
Tip – Learn to be realistic about yourself and others. Don’t compare yourself to others. This always leads to trouble!
Feeling Lonely – If you will be spending the holiday alone, you may feel depressed. You would be surprised at how many people are alone during holidays.
Tip – The best way to combat this situation is to arrange to spend the holiday with another person who will be alone. It may turn out to be one of the best holidays that you’ve ever had.
If you feel that you would like a little help to get through the Christmas holidays, this hypnosis program by Hypnosis Downloads is effective and well done.