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How to Deal With Holiday Blues

Updated on December 3, 2012

Christmas is suppose to be happy, jolly, full of wonder and joy...all that happy, happy, happy stuff! For some people it can be a very stressful, depressing and sad time. I used to love Christmas. But as the years have gone by, and life has changed for me, I don't enjoy it so much anymore. There are so many reasons why people get depressed around Christmas.

The main reason for me is that I have lost all of my family except my brother. While I am blessed to still have my brother, it was my mom who made Christmas special and fun. When she passed away five years ago (I had already lost my dad two years before) I lost all desire to do anything for Christmas. I just wanted it to go away.

As the years have passed I have done the main things...bought presents for my brother and friends and made a special Christmas dinner. I have yet to decorate, except to get one little Santa statue out that my mom and I both loved. I try my hardest not to be a downer for other people and do a good job of it, if I say so myself. But, deep down, when I'm alone, I am depressed about it.

Another problem almost everyone is facing these days is the bad economy and lack of money. I think even some of your "ho, ho, ho" types have become a bit down about Christmas due to this. We all feel pressured to buy, buy, buy! And even though we cut down a little here and there, it's still a worry about how much we are spending. Just another stress added to the whole situation.

What I wanted to discuss though was how to keep yourself from falling into the holiday blues. These are things that have helped me and I hope they help you too.

First of all, stop feeling guilty. It's not your fault that there is some reason you feel down during the holidays. Whatever has brought you to that is just life and not something to feel abnormal about. I felt I had to fake being happy or I was ruining it for everyone else. I finally decided that while I wasn't going to sit around saying "bah humbug" to everyone, I was just going to get through it as best as I could. I could be quiet and natural, instead of trying to be cheerful. I also limit the time I spend at parties or gatherings and leave when I feel I just can't take anymore. Believe it or not, sometimes you might even enjoy yourself a little and knowing that you can escape helps tremendously.

I have to say that as a single woman with no children, this is easier. When there are children involved (or even large family gatherings) it is much harder to get away, so I understand that some of these tips may not work for some, or they may have to be adjusted somewhat.

Make time for yourself. Take time to do something you really enjoy. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and a good book and find an alone spot. Find time to watch your favorite movie and let yourself get lost in that world for awhile. Take a long walk and appreciate the nature around you. Whatever it is, give yourself the gift of time. Time to let down your guard and get away from all the holiday stuff! Time to not have to feel pressured to fake it.

This is an old one, but so true. Helping others does make you feel better, especially people who may be feeling as lonely and out of sorts as you are. I hate the expression "misery loves company" because I think it is unfair. It's more that it helps to be around people who are going through the same thing because you don't feel so alone or weird. You sometimes feel like you're the only one who is feeling this way and it helps tremendously to know you aren't. I would love to start a group for people who have problems with the holidays, just to sit and talk and be allowed to feel the way we do.

Remind yourself that "this too shall pass." The holidays will eventually be over and life can get back to normal. Keep telling yourself "one day closer to the end of all this." I know that sounds gloomy, but it's not. It reminds you that you just have to get through a certain period and then you won't have to think of it anymore. You also won't have to be bombarded with Christmas reminders wherever you go. So, this too shall pass.

Just relax and stop beating yourself up because you aren't glowing with Christmas spirit! Keep yourself busy with things you enjoy doing. You are not alone and you are not to blame. Stop worrying about trying to be happy and just "be". To all of those who feel this way, I wish you a peaceful and guilt free mind this Christmas.

Do you suffer from holiday depression?

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    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Hi Victoria, yes we do the best we can and that's good enough. We all out such pressure on ourselves and we really shouldn't. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I get down, too, and I always am relieved when the holidays are over. I used to love Christmas, and I do get together with a large family, so I know I'm blessed. I'm pushing myself to decorate this year.

      You hub hit the nail on the head; I bet a lot of folks can relate. We just do the best we can, huh?

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Yes, Claudia, that's another holiday that can be depressing. I am like you with Christmas, I never really cared about New Years' Eve! So it's the start of a new year...big deal. It's just another day. I feel great staying in and waking up without a hangover the next day...haha! But it's another way we get bombarded with all the hype surrounding "special" days.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading my hub!

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

      I actually don´t care much about Christmas either way, it never was so special and exciting for me and it still isn´t. I am totally disconnected from the whole materialistic thing and gifts giving as well.

      What does depress me sometimes is new years eve, I haven´t had true friends or family with whom to celebrate in a very long time and that does feel really awkward since everybody is supposed to have a great time and be really enthusiastic about the next year.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      My dear friend Kenneth, thank you so much. I'm sorry to hear about your Christmas situation. That's definitely difficult to accept. I wish we lived close enough to have you and Pam come to my house for Christmas. I'm just glad you have all the rest to celebrate with. Especially the grand kids...they make things fun!

      Love ya!

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      bac2basics, that is more than fine with me...thank you.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Thank you so much Olde Cashmere. Thanks for reading, voting and sharing!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hey, cat,

      Amazing hub here. You nailed it, my friend. Voted up all the way because "I" suffer from depression anyway, and at Christmas, Thanksgiving too, that used to be family times, are now days with MY OWN family, Pam, Angie, Michael, (Grandkids, Alexis, Annabeth and Gabriel), and our furry friends, Festus, J.D., Sissy, "Joe," Hobollenia nd Peter, which is great, but I miss my mom and dad very much. They MADE, like your mom, our holiday times. To be a bit corny, they "were the glue that kept our family sealed," but when they passed, people scattered and my youngest niece took it upon herself to just do the holiday thing with her family and mom, which is cool, but to exile the rest of us, I have definitely got a problem with this one, but "this too shall pass," as you say in your wonderful hub, cat.

      Thank you so much for being my friend, and being such an inspiration to me.

      You are an amazing writer, my friend, worthy of being nominated for a Hub Nugget interview.

      God bless you.

      Kenneth and Crew :)

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 5 years ago from Spain

      Hi cat. Many thanks for your very kind comment, I do appreciate it. I am going to link this hub to one I did on SAD, seasonal affective disorder, as I think it will help to get the message across about depression in winter. Hope this is OK with you :)

    • profile image

      Olde Cashmere 5 years ago

      Thank you catgypsy for this hub. You opened up about how the Holiday season affects you and this is helpful for many people. Voting up and rating interesting, useful, and awesome :) Also sharing.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      bac2basics, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. I'm glad to hear it has gotten better for you, but so sorry you will be back in that position. Being around the right people certainly does help. You're so right, we are not alone. I hope you can have some peace this Christmas and I'll be thinking of you!

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Thanks btrbell. I hoped this would let others know it's ok to feel this way and not to feel bad about it, in the sense that they are doing something"wrong." Thanks for your support and votes. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 5 years ago from Spain

      Hi catgypsie. What a great hub. I spent years and years fighting back tears at Christmas because it brought back so many painful memories of loved ones who are no longer with me in person. The last few years funnily enough have got a lot easier, but I am afraid this Christmas I will be back to my norm as I have a very sick friend who may or may not be here when it arrives. I find the best thing for me is to be with other people, if you are feeling down and they are true friends they will understand anyway. You are certainly not alone cat and neither am I.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you for a great, honest hub. Many more people than admit get depressed at the holidays. It was a good idea to address that because one of the most depressing things is seeing and hearing all the "happy" and feeling out of it. I am sorry that you don't have your mother. I know that must be really hard. I hope you have a peaceful holiday. Up+


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