Overwhelmed. Stressed. Exhausted.Nauseated. Just a few words to describe how so many feel over the holidays. You don't need to have anxiety or pre-existing depression, to feel like you want to crawl back into bed as the mounting list of things to do piles high. Everyone is in the hustle and bustle of the holiday rush and you are in a fog. You see social media posts galore of happy shoppers and presents wrapped already under the tree. Trees and home decorated as if they were all in a magazine spread. Beautiful tins of homemade cookies and treats displayed for all to marvel at. If you show any sign of sadness or express your holiday blues, all those happy people try to force you into the Xmas spirit. The only spirits you want are vodka, gin or rum! You prefer to wine rather than whine, so you fake that smile to appease all those gleeful elves! So many of us, do not have a big family or you do, but they live too far away. Not everyone has a significant other to kiss under that mistletoe. Money is tight for many so the abundance of food, drinks and gifts do not flow within the walls of their homes. Merry and bright is replaced by sadness and the dark. For those who never have had to deal with anything other than cheery days, do not understand the force of the darkness.
People get depressed at Xmas and some even angry because of the excessive commercialization of the holiday. So much focus on the wrong reason to be together throughout the holidays triggers many. Xmas also appears to trigger to engage in excessive self-reflection and rumination about their inadequacies in comparison with other people who have more or do more. I know a lot of people who become anxious at Xmas with the pressure to spend money on presents which then leads to increasing debt anxiety. A few people that I have chatted with, dread the holidays because to the expectation for social gatherings with family, friends and acquaintances, that to be honest, do not want to spend time with. Like myself, many feel lonely at this time of year because they have suffered a loss of a loved one or a divorce or loss of a job.
If you are among the many that suffer, the following will hopefully ease the pain of the drain!
- If depression, please seek out the aid of a qualified mental health professional
- Set your personal boundaries regarding cash/credit card expense, spent on presents & the number of social events.
- Do not accept any perfect representation of Xmas that social media, institutions or other humans try to make you believe. Allow yourself to lower your own expectations and any attachment to what it should look like. Be present and try to enjoy each moment the best as you can.
- Help worthwhile causes which aid the less fortunate, become involved in giving a non-monetary gift.
- Rather than focusing on what you don't have, be grateful for what you have in your life.
- Avoid the excessive rumination about your life.
- Do fun interesting things. take action!
- Focus your thoughts on all the amazing things about Xmas, the opportunity to engage in loving kindness and generosity of spirit. Have gratitude for the others in your life.
The holiday season has become a difficult time for many people in our society. Those of you who do not suffer at this time of year, it's an opportunity to reach out to those who have anxiety or are depressed. For those who do suffer, it's an opportunity to take action to feel, think and act in ways that break free from the past. Some traditions are made to be broken! Beat the beast and you'll survive the season of joy! Don't Grinch it, pinch it!
A widow and very single Mom trying to find a place in this Universe. I have had anxiety and agoraphobia for most of my life mixed with panic attacks for extra fun. I have been through more in life than the average woman and hope my experiences make someone else feel less alone. I will make mistakes in my grammar maybe even a spelling error or two. I am not perfect and sometimes will hit publish before spell checking! I type a lot in the middle of the night with no sleep, so anything can happen!