By: Halie Holland
Yes, it is once again that time of the year, and this article will serve as a friendly reminder that people still experience mental health conditions even though it’s the holiday season. I know what you’re probably thinking, “The holidays are such a joyous, happy time. How could one even have the blues?” That’s a great question, however, many people do experience it. Many people feel lonely, sad, anxious and depressed at this time of the year. There are many reasons why people feel down at holiday time.
The pressure to feel Happy
When the holidays begin to approach us, people feel like they are obligated to feel happy just because they think they are expected to. It’s often perceived that the holidays are supposed to be happy and that everyone should be as well. The imbalance between how you feel and what you think you are supposed to feel can cause you guilt and confusion. This way of thinking (which a lot of people with mental illness can’t help) can start you off on the wrong foot, long before the festivities begin.
Loneliness also comes into play. If one doesn’t have that significant other to watch Christmas movies, drink hot chocolate, go sledding, or even just spend the holiday with, it can get very depressing. Especially in the prevalent time of social media, seeing friends get together and do holiday festivities together while you’re home alone ‘living it up’ can hurt. Even if you’re far from home and can’t get there for the holidays, it can drown one in pure misery.
Lost Loved Ones
Holidays are a time for reflection on the year past. Often your thoughts can turn to family members, friends, and or significant others who have passed away. That sense of loss you can potentially feel can make you sad, even during the happiest time of the year.
Lack of Light
The holiday may be filled with twinkling lights; however, during the winter, seasonal depression may kick in. This isn’t always easy to deal with, but do your best. On the bright side ,(get it) getting some sunlight when you can help to fight any chemical imbalances toward your holiday funk.
To sum all of these depressing triggers up, I have some advice on how to fight these holiday blues. It is OKAY to feel sad around the holidays. Don’t feel bad, as many people get into these holiday feels. If you don’t feel as happy as you think you should, don’t fight it. Forcing feelings that aren’t there will only make you feel worse. The most important thing you can do to beat the blues: No matter what is happening in your life, think of the blessings and good things you have going for you. Taking a mental note of all of the positives in your life can go a long way toward ending your “bah humbug” mood. With a little bit of preparation, the holidays can be good to you.