The holidays are filled with both fun and stress. Running your errands feels like a marathon…you’re elbow-to-elbow with all of the other racers. Family is coming to visit. You have to clean house, put fresh sheets on the guest bed, plan the menus, grocery shop, and the fun part…decorating the house in all the festive trimmings.
You zip along your day, whistling, and feeling excitement. It is your favorite holiday after all.
But not for everyone…
Many people suffer some form of depression at the holidays. It may be a little case of the blues or something more serious.
The stories vary as to why they feel the way they do.
Maybe it’s because they never had a great Christmas or Thanksgiving when they were a child.
Maybe they lost someone important to them near the holidays.
The #1 Thing You Shouldn’t do on a Significant Holiday…
…tell them how they SHOULD feel.
Whether it’s the best thing for them or not, it’s not your place to decide. People need to find their own answers and do what is best for them.
The best way for you to offer your support is to tell them how YOU feel about them. A simple “Hey, I’m thinking of you today and am grateful for your friendship.” goes a long way.
Got a Case of the Holiday Blues Yourself?
Try out one of these suggestions from Healthline and see which one works for you. If none of them do, that’s ok. Try something else.
- Begin a new tradition. Plan a family outing or vacation instead of spending the holidays at home.
- Don’t succumb to holiday pressures. Feel free to leave an event if you aren’t comfortable and be willing to tell others, “I’m not up for this right now.”
- Volunteer. Work at a soup kitchen, organize a gift drive or simply help the neighbor dig the snow out of his driveway.
- Get back to nature. Going for a walk in the park or the woods helps many people who are feeling overwhelmed to feel better.
A Personal Painful Story
Several years ago, I was going to be alone at Thanksgiving, so a girlfriend invited me over for dinner. She said “Hey, we’re also going to run the Turkey Trot in the morning. Do you want to do it with us?”
A couple of months earlier, I had gone through an incredibly painful breakup. Not only did I lose the relationship, but I lost spending time with his family. A family I loved!
Family gatherings were always filled with a ton of laughter, love, and fun. It reminded me of holidays when I was growing up. For the first time as an adult, holidays felt like they should feel to me.
Needless to say, losing that feeling was just as crushing, if not more, than the loss of the relationship itself.
So the thought of being distracted doing something physical and outdoors, sounded like a great idea.
I cried uncontrollably the ENTIRE 5k!
And not just little streaming tears. Oh no! It was the UGLY cry, as Oprah says.
Being around all of the families and laughter were a painful reminder of what I had lost. Later in the day when I was having dinner with a couple of friends, I was much better.
It felt more like a normal dinner with good friends.
There’s nothing worse than feeling alone in a room full of people. Click to Tweet!
Now I enjoy much more low key holidays. I socialize briefly in smaller groups or volunteer and it works for me.
I truly wish you the greatest of holidays and you find meaning in a way that works for you. Express all that you’re grateful for and be present in your own heart.
Take Action Now
Tell me in the comments below what you are grateful for. If you tend to get a little down, tell me what you do to get through it. Others may learn some tricks from you!