It’s a situation that many people find utterly perplexing: how can anyone be depressed during the Christmas holidays, surely the happiest time of the year? People may not be able to understand where others are coming from, but seasonal sadness is a very real thing. As we approach Christmas, some of you reading this will think back to past Decembers when you felt your mood and energy level begin to sag. No one wants to go through that, especially when everyone around you is basking in the fun of Christmas. So, what can you do about it?
Avoid Unrealistic Expectations
It sounds simplistic to say this, but life is not the same as you see in movies and television. Not every Christmas is going to be a textbook example of holiday cheer.
If you think holiday cheer is suddenly going to turn your life around, that’s not being realistic. It’s also not likely that a Christmas celebration will cause rifts in your family to heal. When such events fail to transpire, this can lead to depression, even though no one should be sad over things that weren’t likely to transpire in the first place. Things will never be perfect, as much as you would like them to be.
Comparing your lot in life to others is always a losing game. You will always have friends or family who are better looking, richer, more successful, have better jobs, etc. There will also inevitably be other families you know who seem to have a much better Christmas. However, seem is the key word: there are always lots of things that we, as outsiders, don’t know and people usually put their best foot forward. Therefore, we don’t really have an accurate picture, making comparisons a waste of time and a needless source of stress.
Take Care of Yourself
A sure way to feel bad is to not take care of yourself. Continue to exercise, eat nutritious food, and do things you enjoy. This is important at any point of the year, but especially so during times when depression is common for you.