Many people are depressed during the holidays. Some are depressed due to losses through death or divorce. The holidays carry memories of former happy times and this highlights loss. Some are depressed due to financial pressure or job loss. This is increased by the desire to spend on gifts for loved ones. A variety of family tensions - marital problems, alcoholism, step family issues, adolescent rebellion - also can cause holiday depression.
These are difficult issues any time of the year but are even more difficult at Christmas because we expect the holidays to be joyful and happy. Unfortunately our life problems continue even during the holidays.
Five solutions to Christmas depression come to mind:
1. Acknowledge your feelings of loss and grief; allow yourself to cry and grieve or feel anger. Talk out feelings with a trusted friend or write about them.
2. Don’t dwell on the negative. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Don’t grieve endlessly. Get out and do something to take your mind off your self and your problems.
3. Count your blessings. Focus on the positive. Make a list every day during the holidays of five things you’re grateful for. See the holiday time as half full, not half empty. Remind yourself that no one has a perfect life.
4. Return to your faith. Take a step or two back to God through prayer, reading Scripture, and returning to church. There are many inspiring and fun Christmas activities in most churches during the Christmas season.
5. Counseling can help with depression. If you’re having suicidal thoughts counseling is a must. If your appetite or sleep patterns are affected, medication can help. I hope these ideas will help you have a meaningful and joyful Christmas.
"Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7