Holiday blues or having a joyous time of the year is a choice in most cases. About 5% suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it is a type of depression that tends to occur (and recur) as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter. This affects more people as they get further away from the equator.
There are other reasons some people suffer depression or anxiety during the holidays and two common reasons are because of a traumatic event or being less fortunate in their youth. I have the opportunity to be able to use both of these excuses to be depressed during the holidays. So if we use these three reasons to justify our being depressed there are ways to overcome them, even for Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD.
Whatever reasons we have for being sad there are ways to reduce or eliminate the blues that work year round.
The first three tips of coping from the Mayo clinic are (shortened for space constraints):
- Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings.
- Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
- Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones.