How to Rise Above Holiday Woes

By Julie-Ann Simpson

The holidays should be a time for joy, laughter, and celebration but there has been a noticeable shift over the years. While many look forward to spending time with family, eating their favorites meals and decorating for the holidays, there are other people who become depressed during this time of the year.  A group of psychologists explains why we get depressed during the holidays. Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or preparing for New Year’s Eve celebration, it is a challenging time for those who may have lost loved, those with demanding jobs and those who are isolated from their family and friends.  

The truth is the holidays does not have to be one of misery for someone who is facing depression.  While depression alone is a struggle for many, a change of perspective may just help you to appreciate the holidays even if things are not exactly how you would have hope.  Although there are reasons to be sorrowful, there are more reasons to be appreciative for the thing that you do have. An attitude of gratitude will help you to realize that things could be worse than they already are. You may not have everything you want but there are some things you have that other people lack.  Nick Vujicic is a Christian evangelist and motivational speaker who was born without arms.  He shared that the first disability he had to overcome is fear. The type of fear with captivates the mind and contributes to depression.   How to overcome your fears and realize that your value is not defined by what you lost or the opinions of other people.

It is very easy to fall into depression when plans for the holidays are being advertised all over social media, conventional media and among your peers. Beside the fact that some become sad because they are reminded of their loneliness, some people are reminded that the holiday season is a busy and stressful time if they work in retail. There is a high demand to meet the needs of shoppers who are looking for new gifts for their loved ones. On the contrary, there are also families who are experiencing financial difficulties, yet they feel pressured to put themselves in further debt. The holiday season can also become a financial strain on families who are struggling because of the change in the economy and the effects of the pandemic. If you recently lost your job or someone in your family lost their job, this could become a financial burden and be very stressful.  If you are afraid to say NO to favors, it could become strenuous for you to meet the expectations of other people. Sometimes you must learn to say No and set boundaries to protect your mental health.  The National Allegiance for Mental Health shares tips on managing your mental health during the holidays

While some lost their jobs and those who work in retail are overwhelmed with pleasing their customers, other employees in different industries may miss the interactions of fellow co-workers who are no longer with him. During September 2021 many left their jobs which could contribute to other workers and their employers feeling down.  Employers have increased anxiety and depression this season.  With a decline in the number of workers, an employer may begin have fears about their business success and if other employees are planning to resign. Naturally, this would have a toil on the mental health of anyone in that position. 

There are ways to overcome the holiday blues. As mentioned before, an attitude of gratitude can go a long way. You could learn to say no whenever needed so that you do not become overwhelmed or feel pressured. It is okay to say no.  It is good to remind yourself that you are not alone even if you feel alone. If you can be with good company, you should surround yourself with positive people who will inspire you. You could consider offering your time or service to helping those who may be less fortunate or in need of what you may already have. Sometimes having appreciation for the simple things in life can improve your mood and change your situation for the better. Sometimes a change in perspective can make life better. Here are 12 tips for dealing with depression. and steps that teaches you how to be happy: 25 Habits to add to your routine.

The holidays can still be a joyous time for you. You may not always feel happy but having a sense of peace and fulfilment will allow you to make the best out of the holiday season. Stay away from things that contributes to the depression and avoid unhealthy habits that you may have been using for comfort or distraction from the depression or pain. Prayers and meditation are a great way to relieve the depression and start the inner healing.  If your belief system resonates with emotional healing and positivity, you can find strength through faith to overcome the holiday blues.  Regardless of your spiritual belief or lack thereof, you owe it to yourself to rise above the holiday woes. No matter how difficult life gets its good to be mindful that there are other people great suffering compared what you may feel during this time. Kevin Carter was the photographer who won a prize for capture the image of a vulture behind a starving Sudanese child.  He was so overwhelmed by the devastations he had seen in the world that he ended his own life. This is a testament as to why you should have an attitude of gratitude even after the holiday season. 

You can rise above the holiday woes by finding ways not to surrender to depression. The power of positivity will sustain you as you create a mindset that you will thrive into the new year. A vision board may be a great motivation that helps you to visualize the improvements you want to see in your life. A vision board can distract you from dealing with the post-holiday blues than also affects people in the New Year. By having an attitude of gratitude and getting the help you need to avoid the holiday woes, you will begin to a new perspective on life.  


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