Experiencing holiday sadness is called the “holiday blues” or “holiday depression” and can be common this time of year. A greater amount of expectations are placed on us during this time, which brings about more stress for the average person. Those struggling with mental health issues are often especially affected by the holidays. Holiday blues start at the beginning of November and end at the start of the new year.
If you’re noticing:
- Depressed feelings or irritability
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Increased stress or anxiety
- Loss of excitement in things you used to enjoy
- Feelings of exhaustion
- Changes in appetite
…you may be experiencing holiday sadness or the holiday blues. You are not alone in this feeling.
How can you improve your mental health during the holidays?
Don’t pressure yourself to feel in the holiday spirit.
There is an expectation that the holidays are “supposed” to feel loving, warm, and magical. Hallmark movies, Christmas Cards, commercials, and the media makes us compare our lives to what we believe others are experiencing. This expectation creates disappointment when experiences fall short. Often we have an idea from our childhoods of how the holidays “should feel.” The truth is that rituals may grow and change, or they may never match what is reflected in popular culture. Psychologists recommend distancing yourself from comparisons as they make us feel like we’re coming up short. Around the holidays, comparisons significantly contribute to holiday sadness.
Practice unattachment around the holiday expectations, as they can set you up for sadness. Recognize that you don’t need to feel a certain way. Allow what is. Focus on expressing appreciation for those around you: family members, neighbors, and holiday workers. Focus on spreading joy.
Make sure to get enough sunlight every day.
Due to daylight savings time,…
Imported from Accelerated Resolution Therapy Blog – Read More