This Year is Different – How to Let Go of the Holiday Blues Forever

Seasonal affective disorder. Holiday blues. Winter doldrums. Regardless of the label used, the fact remains that many people suffer periods of depression through the holiday season. The time of year may be a trigger, but there are usually other factors involved that contribute to this funk.

It is all too common to experience bouts with feelings of inadequacy. Most of us have experienced plenty of days when everything seems a bit difficult and no one seems to notice, or care, that we’re struggling. Worse yet, these feelings can be magnified this time of year when people are celebrating joyful relationships with family and friends. Just one dark day can dampen the entire holiday season. Here is a practical solution to potential holiday despondency:

· Own your situation and surroundings. During the holidays, or any other time for that matter, be where you are because you want to be there. If you are in a position of having to honor an obligation, make the most out of it by fully participating. If you sit back being dour and aloof, you will not enjoy yourself.

· Acknowledge those you are around.The quickest remedy to feeling unappreciated is to express appreciation for someone else. You will quickly forget how badly you feel about yourself by brightening someone else’s day.

· Connect with those you love. At least once a day have a meaningful connection with someone who is special to you. Whether through a conversation, a hug, or a gesture as simple as sharing a laugh, have a relevant interaction.

People sometimes forget that their actions can effectively change the way they feel. Taking one simple step can change the entire direction of a person’s day. Taking responsibility for one’s conditions, acknowledging others, and creating and maintaining connections are simple behavioral strategies that make a significant difference in a person’s attitude.

Chances are, if a person is secure and has a healthy self-esteem the rest of the year, the holidays will be a happy and joyful time. Therefore, rather than focusing a lot of attention on why someone is depressed during the holidays, it would be more productive to take actions to change this emotional state now and continue to maintain emotional health throughout the year.

If you know someone who struggles with seasonal depression, make these suggestions. Of course this may be indicative of a more serious problem in which professional help should be sought. Pay attention, offer encouragement, and provide a sympathetic ear. With this combination a positive solution will be found.

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