This time of year, it isn’t that hard to find at least half a dozen people who are loney, depressed, or downright despise the holiday season. Many have a legitimate reason, while others’ contempt for Christmas merriment could be attributed to an unbalanced emotional state or the fact that the big man in the red suit didn’t give them exactly what they wanted when they were a child.
However, I’ll address the first group of individuals upfront. Perhaps a spouse or family member has passed on, or your children have all moved out. Maybe you have a loved one overseas in the military. Regardless of your unique situation, I empathize but would be lying if I claimed to fully understand how difficult it must be. But here are some ways that may help you survive the holiday season.
- Spend time with friends and loved ones — Phone your friends and loved ones and explain your situation to them. Then politely ask if you could spend some time with them. I understand that it may be akward, but chances are they would be more than happy to help you out. However, remember to keep your visits short and polite. Nobody wants to hang out with a downer or that one relative or friend that doesn’t know when to leave.
- Only participate in the things that YOU want to do. Even if it’s suggested with good intentions, those that have never experienced the holiday blues may sometimes pressure you to get out of the house and “enjoy the holidays like everybody else”. It’s not really their call, now is it? If this happens, politely explain that you would rather do something else and excuse yourself. There’s no need to ruin their fun, just as much as it is your right to not participate. Instead, try doing something that makes you happy. You could go to the movies, take a walk, or a short vacation, work on that project you’ve been meaning to get around to for quite some time. It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as you’re keeping yourself occupied, and your mind away from those depressing thoughts.
- Continue to take care of yourself on a daily basis — People who suffer from depression, not just at Christmas but all year round, tend to neglect their personal appearance, hygene, and house chores. They have a tendancy to become shut-ins and lie in bed a lot more than they really ought to. But if you are a holiday blues sufferer, force yourself to continue daily grooming, dish washing, and “picking up the house” (cleaning). For if you do, you will find a therapeutic value in these activities. They will keep your mind off of your depression and help you to continue living in a clean, sanitary body and home.