Mental Health

Dealing with christmas depression

The run up to Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier every year, but what if Christmas isn’t so exciting? Let’s talk about dealing with Christmas depression.

dealing with Christmas depression.
Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
[IMG]Picture shows someone in black dungarees and white top presenting a wrapped gift in brown paper with candycanes printed on it ans red string[IMG]

There is a big push at this time of year, shops full of decorations and gift sets, and TV adverts selling the idea of parties full of friends and family. But not everyone has lots of friends and family, and if Christmas doesn’t look like that ideal, it can make you feel less than festive.

For me, Christmas was all about seeing my two-favourite people, my Nan and Grandad, who always came to my mom and Dad’s for Christmas day. The day was spent all together, and it was my favourite day of the year because of that.

Then my Grandad died, and my dad left my mom, and my Nan died, and suddenly Christmas did not feel the same.

Since then, I have hated Christmas and instead started to celebrate Yule which falls around the 21st  of December. However, Christmas is everywhere and though I no longer celebrate it, I cannot avoid it and it makes me wonder how people from other cultures and religions feel.

This time of year, whether you pop to the shops, want to disassociate by scrolling TikTok, or watch something on TV you cannot avoid being reminded it’s Christmas! (Yelled like Slade)

I see it everywhere, and yet even as the calendar is in double digits, I find myself completely uninspired to decorate my home. I have not even thought about getting them out and I love a theme usually, but to put up decorations then take them down again with fatigue is not the vibe!

Also, as you know, I had covid it is thankfully gone now but it has left me with even worse CFS/ME and fewer spoons means less energy.  So, the idea of wasting time with something I have to just pack away again feels very much something I do not want to do.

I often look back at old Christmas memories and wonder what was different, and it was family, feeling lonely or disconnected is something I am not alone in. So many of us feel the same, whether it is because of grief, old age, or disability or even because of moving away from people you know.

Dealing with Christmas depression:

  • Let go of expectation – TV adverts, movies, even your own memories all show us a skewed version of reality. Let go of those expectations and try to find what works for you.
  • Find your own rituals – It is important to find what makes you happy, watch a movie you love, buy yourself a present, or just treat it like any other day. Letting go of societal pressure and finding something that feels right to you will make all the difference.
  • Talk – Be open and honest about how you feel, speak up to a doctor, charity, family member or church about what is really going on. You might be surprised that you are not alone in the way you are experiencing the season.

This year, I have no Christmas decorations up, and I feel better, I am watching lots of really cheesy Hallmark movies because they make my year, and we have ordered lots of nice food for the big day. Next year I might decorate, but I am going to see how I feel, letting go of societies pressures every day has been the biggest game changer.

I hope these things help you when dealing with Christmas depression, maybe just knowing you are not alone is enough. Either way, I needed to get this out there and I hope that it makes a difference to the season for you.

Thank you xx

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  • sarah

    Thanks for this post, it definitely helps to know that there are others in the same boat as me! My parents have both passed on and my husband’s family do Christmas in a very different way to how my family used to. I just don’t have the enthusiasm for it all any more and this year, will be glad when it’s all over. We do have decorations up but had it not been for my husband wanting to put them up, I wouldn’t have bothered, preferring to make my own rituals instead, as you mention.
    Look after yourself
    Sarah x

  • Kaz

    When I was young, Christmas was going to my grandparents for the day and in the evening all the family and friends would arrive for the party. Happy memories. My grandparents passed away, some family moved away. My Dad who loved Christmas passed away, that first Christmas I had a meltdown. I was diagnosed with agoraphobia and GAD. I now celebrate Yule. I see now in hindsight my decorations have transitioned from being Christmas to Yule to fatigue friendly. I have gone from decorating a full Christmas tree, to a desktop Yule tree, to now 4 medium baubles that I hang up. I find muting the TV sound when adverts are on helpful. Some people are lonely at this time of year and sometimes I am one of them.

  • Becky Connolly

    Thank you for this timely post. I’m currently in the familiar pit of seasonal gloom. I adore Christmas but there’s always parts that hurt. Seeing people have fun at their Christmas parties is what hits me since I never have any parties to go to. I have acquaintances but no proper friends to do things with. Just so thankful I have my young son.

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