Holiday Depression – 5 reasons we develop the blues.
Holiday depression is a real thing. Even those of us that think we are never depressed and everything is perfect still experience holiday blues. We start the season with good intentions. We make promises to ourselves and do not keep them. We even promise ourselves that this year we are going to “keep it simple.” I know I am not the only one. You all know what I am talking about. So what are some things that trigger holiday depression and what can you do about it?
The first thing that starts the chain reaction of stress is overcommercializations. You are in the store, trying to buy dang food for Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas decorations are already up. So now you are not only stressing about the cost of this damn turkey and the time it will take you to prepare everything, but now Christmas just slapped you in the face. Mentally, you are adding up how many paychecks you have left until Christmas. Don’t act like this hasn’t crossed your mind.
I am so guilty of this one. Overdoing. Let me break this down for you. We shop and set a limit, right? At least that is my original plan. However, you buy something for one kid and realize, damn now their present count is not even. So that sends you on another mission to get more presents. Then when you think you are done, your kid comes to you and says, “Hey mom, I want blah blah blah for Christmas….” and you realize that blah, blah, blah is not under that beautiful tree you spent days perfecting. So more shopping.
I will say I stopped this several years ago. You know those couples that try to go to everyone’s house on Christmas? They eat like 3 lunches and then Christmas dinner at cousin Ed’s. They drag their little kids around all day. I understand, and we all understand, visiting family on Christmas is very important.
However, sometimes you just have to say to your family, No. It is not a big word. Make compromises. Maybe offer a small dessert and drink party at your home Christmas Eve. That way all these homes you would normally travel to on Christmas day can all come to you. At one time. If you have small kids, the last thing they want to do is open all their presents from Santa and then immediately leave.
Oh yeah, this is my worst enemy. Again, set a limit. Make gifts while including your kids. Homemade ornaments, candy, cookies, etc. Christmas is not about presents, however, that is a tradition that has taken over it seems. If you have a large family, draw names or play a gift game, such as the white elephant. I personally have probably have 25 people that I would love to buy each and everyone of them a gift. Well, unless you are loaded, that is not possible. So stop stressing about it. Those that you are worried about are probably in the same boat as you. They are stressing over the very same thing; I promise.
Missing Loved Ones
This is the hardest. It is Christmas and you are maybe missing someone that was here last Christmas. I know personally that is the situation for my family this year. My mother-in-law passed away this year. Christmas day will be hard. Not seeing her smiling face. I have lost both my parents and I can attest to it does not any easier. I don’t care what anyone tells you. Do something special for that loved one. Hang a special ornament on the tree in their memory. Light a candle in their honor. Share happy memories about that loved one. Whatever you do, include their memory into the day someway, somehow.
Are you depressed?
Follow this link and take the Holiday Stress Quiz.
- set limits
- do not try to please everyone
- enjoy the true meaning of Christmas
- set new traditions
- do not overspend
- Remember what Christmas is truly about
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