When it comes to celebrations most people seem to be awfully happy.
Can you blame them? The singing, the dancing, the time to spend with their family.
Happiness is a contagious thing, and I’m not just saying this, there is research to back me up, too!
Right, so in spite of all of that happiness, something seems to be amiss to you, yeah? Like everyone’s happy but your life sucks.
This attitude issue shows and everyone notices it, dropping these annoying little comments about how you don’t seem to be feeling well, or how you should cheer up.
‘Ha!’ I say, if it only was that easy!
There is winter depression, morning depression, and now apparently there’s holiday depression.
As someone who was (is) depressed at all times, I thought that these nuances were just a way for people to draw attention to themselves.
Seriously, why would anyone be depressed during a freaking holiday?
But, as luck would have it, I was proven wrong.
It was during the holidays, I was walking around the streets, alone, while everyone around me seemed so happy.
I recall walking a lot until I say down and noticed another man sitting there. I decided to play it cool, so I asked him “what’s up.”
He barely looked at me before humming “Freakin’ holidays, man.”
So I asked him, being the curious guy I was, what’s so bad about the holidays.
“Everyone’s happy, and I’m not.”
At first, I thought that guy was just whining. I mean really, “they are happy so my life sucks”?
He’s gotta be a whiner.
Yet the more I thought about it the more it made sense to me. People like being happy, so being sad while everyone else is happy is a problematic situation.
You start feeling there is something wrong with you, which only increases overall negative emotions.
After growing a bit more curious I decided to research the topic and found out that although it has some similarities to winter depression, since the two match in terms of timing, there is a vast difference when it comes to the causes.
So in light of that, I decided to look into holiday depression a bit more seriously and wrote a list on how to deal with holiday depression
1) Be social
The most major and basic factor of holiday depression is social interactions or lack thereof.
Holiday depression is a recurring theme among people with small social circles in particular, or so I’ve noticed.
People tend to stick with each other, and people who don’t have enough friends to hang out with might find this problematic.
Everyone is looking for their friends, and no person with an average amount of friends can spend time with all of them at the same time.
This makes people with not too many friends feel left out since no one wants to spend time with them.
This feeling of loneliness among a sea of happy people is a difficult thing to go through, to say the least.
Even if you have many friends and spend time with all of them, you will still feel lonely in your group.
The truth is that people only have so much attention, and in a large group, they sure as heck aren’t going to be focusing on you.
You aren’t that important.
Do yourself a favor and find someone to hang out with. Someone you can sit with over a cup of coffee (although tea is better).
Don’t let yourself fall into the “why it can’t be me” trap, it isn’t worth it.
Just talking to one person for half an hour can have a huge effect, so just find someone to hang out with.
2) Make a tradition
If you followed this website over any amount of time you will discover that I like to talk about habits.
Building and regulating a certain mindset can have a huge lasting effect over your life, one minor difference in your schedule can make a lasting change of a lifetime.
Habits are actions you perform daily. What would you call a yearly-habit?
Traditions are powerful things, they go on for years and last lifetimes.
Making them even more powerful than habits, by definition.
So think of a tradition, something you will do for years to come for your own enjoyment, and then just start doing it.
You could take a vacation and travel, you could spend some time in specific parts of your local community, give some of your time to volunteer, everything goes!
A tradition will make you look forward to it, and by extension, to holidays as well!
3) Don’t get drunk, it won’t help you.
Sure, many people get themselves drunk over the holidays, yet you shouldn’t be one of those people.
Why? Because you aren’t happy!
People drink because they are happy, you drink because you are sad and are trying to run away from reality.
Aside from potentially dangerous outcomes, you aren’t going to be able to put any real limit to yourself.
You will drink until you won’t be able to drink anymore, as long as it will stop the pain you are currently feeling.
I would recommend purposely avoiding alcohol and to struggle through your holiday depression by yourself.
It’s much healthier for you and the experience will help you grow stronger.
Instead, I would recommend doing something that will actually make you happy, like a hobby or a social activity.
Or heck, maybe even something that’s actually productive.
4) Don’t over-commit, focus on what matters.
The holidays are a stressful ordeal all on their own.
buying gifts, making plans and so on.
There’s a lot of thought to put behind each and every thing you end up doing.
In light of that, I came to the conclusion that you should avoid most of those things.
Don’t get me wrong, not buying gifts will make you into a terrible person in most circles, yet all of those family gatherings aren’t, right?
What about that fancy dinner you were going to whip up? That shopping spree you were preparing to go to?
Truth is, even if it’s the holidays, you only got 24 hours a day, you would do well to use that much-needed vacation to actually rest, hang out with your friends and family and be happy.
Sure, you could buy some cheaper products during that period of time, and your distant what’s-his-name uncle will get pretty pissed off if you won’t serve him with something fancy, but the truth is that most of these “traditions” of yours are killing you from the inside.
You shouldn’t feel bad about wanting to rest, these are your holidays too after all.
5) Don’t be jealous, seriously
watching how everyone else is having a blast won’t be easy for you, yet being envious or even jealous of other people isn’t good for you.
You will suddenly end up comparing yourself to others, looking for some qualities that they seem to possess and you don’t.
These are just excuses.
The fact that you are sad, depressed even, has to do more with your mindset rather than your actions.
If you truly want to stop feeling bad you need to stop making excuses.
Be happy for others and strive to be the same, perhaps even better, but don’t let your jealous mindset consume you.
If you do, you will never achieve and lasting changes.
Final thoughts and conclusions
Much like winter depression, holiday depression is just a certain phase that you will go through.
It’s purely situational, so you can either live through it or simply make it work for you. Either works.
Sure, you could just wait for your depression to leave, because it will, but that would mean that you wasted a perfectly good holiday just sticking to a random corner, all alone, yeah?
I suggest you take my advice and implement it.
I gave it away hoping it would lead to some quick results.
Rest and rest well, spend time with the people you care about and be sure to thank me later!
Meanwhile, how about a quick question?
Nothing fancy, really – What do you normally do during the holidays? Does it make you happy in any way? What would you like to change?
More than one question, I know, I lied, but I have complete faith in your ability to answer it.
Speaking of answers, make sure to drop you answer in the comment section below, I personally read and reply to every single one of them.
Got something personal you would like to ask me? Some advice you would like to get from me? Want to do that privately? Don’t worry, you could always send me a quick email.
I go through every single one of my emails and reply to every single one of them as well, so you really have nothing to lose.
Either way, your question will be answered and your issue will be addressed