Although deemed as the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays are actually not so great for some people.
The winter blues are common for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few:
Financial Burden: During the holidays, we tend to spend a lot more money on gifts to spread some good Christmas cheer. Sometimes, we feel burdened to get extravagant gifts we can’t afford due to societal pressures. Worrying that you might not have enough money to shower loved ones with gifts leads to feelings of guilt and shame. This can be cured by saving up for the holidays and sticking to a strict budget. Be careful and realistic in how much you spend.
Personal Life Stress: The pressures of the holidays can be overwhelming with friends and families gathering for Christmas parties and get-togethers. If you are hosting a party or attending one, you may feel over burdened and end up drinking too many alcoholic beverages just to get through the night. Excess amounts of alcohol will only increase stress and anxiety. To avoid this, give yourself a break every once in a while. If you feel overwhelmed by family and friends, take a day or even a couple of hours to yourself. De-stressing during the holidays is critical!
Seasonal Affective Disorder: This is a disorder that is simply a part of some people’s lives. Holiday depression cannot be avoided for them. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can be caused by a lack of serotonin, lack of sunlight or even the disruption of your body’s circadian rhythm due to seasonal time and light changes.
Lack of Exercise: Exercise tends to be shoved to the side over the holidays as we shamelessly indulge in our favorite comfort foods. However, when stress levels are high, exercise is necessary. When you exercise, your body releases the chemical endorphin that reduces your perception of pain. When you’re feeling down, put down the bowl of mashed potatoes and go out for a walk or a jog! Get others involved and try to play a team sport to increase communal interaction.
The winter time blues can be lessened by focusing on the things you enjoy most and not pressuring yourself into doing things that are just a part of societal pressures.
However, if you’re feeling extremely down and it starts to affect your daily life, please consult a mental health professional.
Have you experienced the winter time blues? Let us know down below.