What to Do if Your Christmas is Blue

By Indigo Blue


Holidays are a joyous time of celebration for many of us.  For others, these same times are painful and lonely.  Expectations are high during this time,
and many feel the pressure to do, and go and give beyond their abilities. Mental health experts agree that depression levels increase and one may experience anything from a mild case of the blues to a full-blown major depressive episode.  Those already clinically depressed can sink to dangerous lows.

Tis the season to be jolly, indeed, but it is also the season to take care of your emotional well-being.  Here are some simple things to do if your Christmas is blue.

Simplify Your Life.  It's easy to get caught up in the busyness the holidays bring. It's important to prioritize what is important to you, what is essential, and what someone else can do or help you with.  It's also a good idea to try to streamline your activities.  Make an effort to work smart, not hard.

Express your feelings. Talk to trusted friends and family members.  Your feelings, no matter what they are, are important.  Get them out.  Journaling and creative outlets, such as crafts, or poetry can offer a great deal of relief, also.  These kind of creative outlets often allow us to express what we will not allow our words to..

Understand that some of your feelings may mask other feelings.  You may feel irritable, but that irritability may be covering some unresolved grief, especially if you have experienced a significant loss.  Again, talk to people you trust.  You may even want to seek professional assistance to help you sort things out.  There is absolutely no shame in that.

Don't put pressure on yourself to get over it.  Just because you are bombarded with messages that urge you to have yourself a merry little Christmas, you just may not be feeling it.  Take your time.  Baby steps may be the way you get through the season.

Be proactive.  Don't wait until your feelings completely overwhelm you before you seek out some support.  You may be experiencing clinical depression, and be in need of medication.  If the holidays are a sensitive time for you, try to think ahead and have a plan before you have a crisis.

Take care of your body.  You may need to pass on the holiday cheer in favor of non-alcoholic drinks.  Non-alcoholic doesn't necessarily mean good for you.  Sugary drinks full of caffeine can also be mood altering substances that affect your feelings.  Drink plenty of water and juice, fresh if possible. Herbal teas can be wonderful.  Exercise.  Make sure you are getting enough sleep.  And if you can, pamper your body with extras like aromatherapy, massage, or a manicure.

Finally, feed your spirit.  Pray, and serve others.  Get involved with your community.  Gather in spiritual places and read affirming, comforting, or holy books.  Connect with others.  Isolating yourself puts you at risk for more painful experiences.

Whatever your circumstances, the holidays do not have to be traumatic.  Be your own Santa Claus, and give the gift of kindness and care to yourself. Your self-nurturing will not only make a difference to you, but to those whose lives you touch.  If you can't have a happy holiday, at least have a healing one.



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