Christmas is a time associated with peace, joy and rest. However, the period of Christmas preparations is often associated with stress and can affect the well-being in a different way than we would wish. Christmas can be a really difficult time for those suffering from depression. Why can the festive atmosphere worsen the mood and increase the severity of depressive states?
“The worst time of the year”, “the pre-Christmas period is a nightmare”, “I do not like Christmas” – these are examples of entries appearing on online forums during the Christmas period. Why all this resentment and growing despondency at Christmas? Chaos, crowd shopping, the prospect of social gatherings and the need to plan and organize are what depressed people have difficulty coping with and what they would like to avoid. Learn about other possible causes of deterioration of our mood during the holiday season.
The pressure of a perfect Christmas
Preparing a Christmas party, dishes, gifts and decorations can be a source of joy and pleasure. However, succumbing to the pressure of a perfect Christmas can render this period of the year, which was supposed to be the most beautiful, overwhelming. Christmas is a challenging time for our emotional, physical and financial resources. The pressure of joyful mood during the holiday season can intensify depressive states. People struggling with depression do not want to talk about their ailments so as not to spoil others’ holidays. There is a growing sense of alienation and maladjustment. What is also characteristic for depression is the reduced ability to experience joy standing in sharp contrast to the pressure to be cheerful during the Christmas season.
Expectations that we cannot meet cause stress and lower our mood. Christmas depression can be triggered by the unrealistic hopes of our loved ones, but also our own. Excessive expectations, once confronted with reality, bring pain and disappointment. High expectations may relate to activities for which we do not have the strength, meetings for which we do not have the desire, or gifts that exceed our budget. All this causes internal conflict and affects the lowering of mood. Unwanted commitments that do not match our needs, that exceed our powers, make us not feel great and joyful at Christmas. If you’re thinking with horror about Christmas, check whether or not you’re operating under the pressure of a commercial approach to Christmas. Without concern for spiritual matters, the pre-Christmas race will lower your well-being, and you can easily lose the profundity of this period. Make an effort that will result in emotional satisfaction, and that will bring you closer to the desired Christmas peace.
For single people Christmas is a difficult time of year. During the holidays, there is a growing sense of isolation and loneliness, especially in the elderly, sick and those staying far away from home. Christmas is a time traditionally spent in the family circle. Loneliness at Christmas certainly hurts the most, especially in the face of the recent loss of a loved one, separation and longing. People saddened by loneliness talk about surviving this difficult time. What happens around the Christmas period, as visible on TV screens, and in stores can further deepen the sense of losing connections with the surrounding world. Depression at Christmas due to loneliness can be prevented by phone calls or visiting the lonely people. Although the house is a basic place of celebration, if we experience loneliness in it, we can join Christmas Eve meetings organized for lonely people. This can be an opportunity to create new supportive bonds that will be helpful not only at Christmas.
December preparations are accompanied by nervousness and stress, sometimes fining its relief in discharge of our frustration on loved ones. A festive atmosphere filled with tension and unpleasant emotions is not conductive to good health, building good memories and strengthening of family ties. Christmas time with the family should be edifying, but it happens that it is a time of difficult confrontation. Even traditional Christmas Eve greeting can be embarrassing. A good way is to avoid greetings that may offend and topics that may disunite your family. Attending a social gathering proves extremely difficult for people with depression. Let us remain calm and kind at the festive table, so that the tradition is a meeting, not a conflict. It is a time of unity and forgiveness. If you are not religious, good manners and care for the well-being of another person will certainly be still useful during the festive feast.
Dark and cold
For the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere, the Christmas period falls in the area of the winter solstice. The winter solstice triggers bothersome symptoms in some of us. Less sunshine and a shorter day during Christmas period intensifies malaise, fatigue, drowsiness and decline in strength. In winter the lack of sunlight, insufficient exposure of the body to sunlight (vitamin D deficiency) can cause seasonal depression. People suffering from depression occurring cyclically in the winter season may experience a decrease in mood during the December holidays. These people become socially withdrawn and apathetic. You can try VR TierOne GO mobile relaxation headset, which will provide you with a safe and pleasant place to relax in the scenery of nature, to improve your mood. Relaxation in a therapeutic VR environment will help you function better in winter.
Free time is something we are waiting for, but the Christmas time also brings about the disturbance in order of the day. The holiday season can interfere with leading a healthy lifestyle – rendering it more difficult to implement the plan of caring for your health. We are in the company, there is an opportunity to drink alcohol and eat too much. If you have habits and ways that keep you healthy and balanced, don’t give up on them during the holidays. Use your free time for healthy integration and recreation with your family, so that the holidays bring a positive boost of energy and do not undermine your health.
The following strategies may be useful in preventing the worsening of depressive states during the holidays.
- If you’re diagnosed with depression, don’t neglect treatment during the holiday season.
- Let yourself relax. Try the VR TierOne GO mobile relaxation headset.
- If depression occurs cyclically during this period, stay ahead of its symptoms.
- Maintain moderation in eating and caution in drinking alcohol.
- Never forget what Christmas is all about. Take care of spiritual comfort.
- Share Christmas duties and prioritize.
- Do not neglect your health and well-being.
- Don’t give in to unhealthy pressure.
- Ask for help if you feel unwell.
- Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
We wish you good health and well-being not only at Christmas!