Even though the holidays are about joy and spending time with friends and love ones, many people suffer from holiday blues and are unable to snap out of that feeling. Holiday blues can trigger emotions such as anxiety and depression. Everyone goes through depression, but they’re able to move out of that state of being pretty quickly. You should be cautious when you’re suffering through prolonged bouts of depression.
With so much going on in the world, holiday blues affects people in more ways than we can imagine. Sometimes depression can be a severe issue that has gone unnoticed, and now with the emphasis on holiday spirit, it’s rearing its ugly head. People who suffer from holiday blues tend to have unrealistic expectations of what the holiday is supposed to consist of.
Suffering from any degree of depression or anxiety doesn’t feel good, and those emotions are turned up several degrees during the holidays. Everything inside you wants to have a good time, but you just can’t find that place deep within where you feel joy and happiness.
Below is a list of signs that you could be battling the holiday blues:
Death in the family — When you lose someone you love, seeing others celebrate while you’re still suffering emotionally can bring additional grief, depression, and anxiety. Learn to enjoy the people you love that are still here.
Increased alcohol use — Sure, you want to have a good time, but if you’re depressed, drinking too much will make it worse. Alcohol will only mask your unhappiness for a short time. When you come down from your high, you’ll feel worse than before. Limit your drinking when you don’t feel well and find other ways to celebrate the holidays without adding to your depression.
Lack of planning — Don’t push yourself to do things that you weren’t planning on doing. If something didn’t get done today, don’t sweat it. Don’t stress yourself over something that can get accomplished tomorrow.
Lack of sleep — Not allotting time for yourself can lead to poor sleeping habits. Meeting and greeting family and friends more often than usual can make you feel as if you’re unhappy about the approaching holidays. Pay attention to what’s going on and get plenty of rest before and after the holidays.
Overeating — Many people try to gain satisfaction and mask emotional distress by overeating, only to find that food won’t make you happy. You may even feel worse after putting on a few pounds. Emotional eating doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Food, like alcohol, only masks emotions.
Single life — You never saw yourself celebrating the holidays alone, or maybe you’ve been single for years and wish you had someone to share the holidays with. These feelings can send you on an emotional roller coaster, so keep company with family and friends who love you.
If you’re dealing with the holiday blues, there are places you can turn for help. You don’t have to suffer through depression alone. Sometimes we need to talk to someone who understands us and that can help guide us when we’re stuck in negative emotional states.
United Way Helpline: 1-800-233-HELP
National Suicide Prevention Help: 1-800-SUICIDE