Seasonal depression is more common than you think. Factors like loneliness, financial and family problems, or the death of a loved one can exacerbate it. The so-called Christmas Blues is a type of depression that occurs at the end of the year. It’s quite common, and there are ways to deal with it.
The holidays are normally thought of as a happy time of the year, but this is not the case for everyone. During the months of November and December, our mental health and emotional state can be affected by the festive atmosphere and other factors. We can experience fatigue, stress, irritability, and sadness. For most people, stress levels increase this time of year with main factors including: lack of time and money, the pressure to shop for gifts, and the anxiety of family gatherings.
For many, Christmas does not represent joy, but is, rather, synonymous with sadness, loneliness. and depression. This type of depression is called the Holidays Blues or Christmas Blues. Here are some of the triggers that cause this seasonal depression and tips to alleviate it:
If depression runs in your family, it triples your chances of suffering from it. If you have a family history of mental health conditions, you may find yourself triggered this time of year. One way to alleviate this feeling of hopelessness is to create safe spaces for yourself. Have someone close that you can talk to. Asking for help is essential, and in many cases people who are suffering need a sympathetic ear.
For most, the Christmas holidays represent an opportunity to share time and experiences with loved ones. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. One of the biggest problems that people face during this season is loneliness. Perhaps their living situation or family relationships are complicated, and this takes a toll on their emotional stability. One way to combat these feelings is by trying to give thanks, find reasons to show gratitude, and take joy in the little things in life.
3. The advertising blitz
At this time of year, we get bombarded with ads, and this can have a negative influence, especially on people who can’t access all of the products shown. You can mitigate the negative effects of marketing by doing activities that get you away from it, like going out and socializing with new people, doing charitable activities, and giving a little of your time to make other people feel better.
4. Financial problems
The financial crisis and unemployment affect the lives of many and directly impact their lifestyles. Many people find themselves in distressing situations because they cannot support their families or buy gifts this time of year. A good way to deal with these feelings of frustration is to realize that there are more important things than money, like being healthy and spending time with loved ones. Try to develop patience and tolerance, and understand that you are doing the best you can. Have confidence in yourself and give your children that feeling of security they need, especially this time of year.
5. The loss of a loved one
During Christmas and New Year’s, many people think back on the loved ones they’ve lost. Their absence is more palpable, and therefore, the emptiness people feel is immense. If you want to talk about it, focus on the most positive aspects and pleasant things about that person that left a lasting impression on you. Talking about these things will help you feel some relief.
7. Far-away family
If there is someone missing from the table because they live elsewhere, remember that you’ll see them again soon. Try scheduling a call for Christmas as this can help you feel connected to your far-away loved one. Technology shortens distances, and you can stay in contact with your loved ones almost as if they were by your side.
Feeling sad, dull, without energy or motivation, and joyless, or experiencing a lack of sleep, restfulness, or appetite are warning signs that you may be suffering from depression. If you are having these symptoms, seek professional help immediately. And, if you notice any of these tendencies in someone close, try to support them.