Coping with regular anxiety, depression, or even general stress is difficult enough. Then, the holidays come around and dump even more stress on everyone, creating a whirlwind of emotions that go well beyond holly and jolly.
You are not alone
If you’re not feeling quite like the holiday spirit has ahold of you, that’s okay. You’re certainly not alone. Plenty of people struggle with temporary anxiety, depression, and stress that is induced by the holidays, often caused by things like unrealistic expectations, the pressure of consumerism, or even family issues or unrest. There are a lot of different things that could cause people to sink into the “holiday blues”, but some are more common than others.
What is the common holiday depression struggles?
Those who find themselves struggling with holiday depression usually report that they are feeling overly stressed, lonely, anxious, or fatigued because of things like:
Gifting Expectations: Too often, people are stressed about money around the holidays because the economy has turned the season into one of consumerism. Some people go into debt every holiday season, and they do it on purpose sometimes. The expectation to get the perfect gift can become unbearable in many ways.
Family Stress or Trauma: Especially for those in recovery, the holidays can bring up a lot of feelings related to family and family issues. Whether it’s because there is tension in the family, because people don’t have family around at all, or because there are memories tied to the holidays, it can be hard for people to deal with the holidays in regard to their families and loved ones.
Weather: Believe it or not, the weather of winter can often be a cause of holiday depression and undue fatigue during the holiday season, as well. Some people chalk it up to the holidays not realizing that it’s just the winter weather. If the feeling lingers after the first of the year, it may be more seasonal than holiday-related, and if it sticks around even once the weather turns, then there might be a bigger issue. However, a lot of people’s emotions or mental health conditions are affected by the gray, damp winter weather.
Don't be afraid to talk
No matter the cause, there’s nothing worse than having more stress during what’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year”. Fortunately, no one has to go through it alone because there is help. Reach out and don’t be afraid to talk to people to get the support that you need, no matter why you’re struggling this holiday season.