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Dealing with Festive Blues

PostedDecember 19, 2017

It’s December, “‘tis the season to be jolly”, “the most wonderful time of the year”… or is it? Is this holiday a struggle for you?

Christmas for most people is a fun time of the year. Christmas carols on the radio and in department stores, and Santa’s spreading the cheer everywhere! It’s a time for gatherings, a time for friends and family, but it can also present a dazzling array of demands.

So why does loneliness undercut feelings of happiness and joy for some of us? Well, the media hype and our own conception of the holidays raise expectations of joy and togetherness, setting us up for heightened sorrow when we’re not experiencing the life we “expected” to have. Often families don’t fit into the perfect mould and this alone could invariably stir a host of feelings. For many of us it is a time of emotional stock taking and reflection, whilst for others a time of regret, depression and loneliness.

For some it may be the first Christmas without a loved one, the first Christmas after a divorce, or the first Christmas with great financial worry. Also, maybe we might think back on the entire year and feel as if we’ve not achieved what we wanted to. It’s melancholic just acknowledging these truths, don’t you think? So yes, holiday cheer is not a given.

However, with a bit of planning, this holiday can leave you feeling up, not down.

So, for those who are struggling to see the joy of Christmas this year, we want to share a few sad-busting tips:

Anticipate your loneliness and plan for it. Create your own social event that you’re comfortable with, or feel free to leave any event with which you’re not comfortable. Be willing to tell others, “I’m not up for this right now.” You don’t need to explain your day to anyone.

Celebrate in a different way. If the prospect of the usual routine fills you with dread rather than joy; have lunch at a restaurant, take a trip, or get your family to donate money to a charity instead of buying gifts.

Be the light for someone else. A random act of kindness benefits the giver as much as the receiver.

Be kind to yourself. Buy yourself something small; indulge by buying a glossy magazine and get lost in it. Treating yourself is such an important part of self-care.

Focus on what’s going right in your life. Make a list of your blessings, write down your successes, victories, and achievements throughout the year, no matter how small.

Call an old friend. Call for no reason. Just say, “Hey, this time of the year got me thinking of you… how are you?” You’ll be amazed at how this can lift your mood.

Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol is a depressant, not a stimulant, and as such it can magnify feelings of sadness.

Contemplate your future. What do you want from next year? You may want to make changes in health, wealth, or relationships. Write them down and prioritise them.

Here’s to wishing you a truly blessed Christmas – a time for reflection, renewal and recommitting yourself to living a life that matters. And a little indulgence, of course!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.