Trigger warning: will mention anxiety and substance abuse.
Disclaimer: We are not mental health professionals. All our claims are backed up by credible research studies. if you relate to anything we post, we highly urge you to consult with a licensed mental health professional for a safe and accurate diagnosis.
The holidays are typically a fun time full of festivities, celebrations, and sometimes even awkward conversations with family members you didn’t even know existed. However, it’s important to know that many people don’t feel joyful when the holidays come around–actually the right opposite. This is know as holiday blues. The term “holiday blues” is used to describe increased moments of sadness, anxiety, and stress that may start before, during, and last even shortly after the holiday season. Holiday blues can be triggered by external/environmental factors as well as internal/unresolved factors. Here are the main ones.
The holidays are all about family time and especially with the ongoing pandemic, the though of not being with family, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually, can cause holiday blues. That’s why it’s important to cultivate a sense of family wherever you are. You can do this by hanging out with friends, looking at pictures/videos from past family holiday gatherings, etc.
Furthermore, it is very common for family members to expect drastic change within an individual when meeting them after a long time. For instance, saying things like, “you got so skinny.” or “you still haven’t bought that house yet?”, can put pressure on an individual, no matter if said jokingly or not. It’s okay to not have gone through a dramatic change in your life. It doesn’t mean that you weren’t productive and wasted time. It’s completely fine to take breaks so make sure nobody convinces you otherwise. It’s important to keep your priorities straight because you are not here to impress but rather to express.
Financial stress may look like:
- Not being sure of where your money has gone
- Trying to impress family members or friends
- Neglecting to pay off bills/debts
- Equating gifts with love
- Obsessing over the “perfect gift”
Ways to deal with financial stress include:
- Set a budget or create a holiday account
- Place limits on gift giving
- Do not neglect bills
- Think twice before you swipe
- Change your perspective on holidays. The best things in life aren’t material possessions.
Overeating & Self Esteem
Needless to say, overeating is very common during the holidays. However, not only can overeating severely effect your digestive system and potentially cause harm to your heart and other organs, it can also affect your mental health as well.
Gaining weight has shown to make people more insecure about their bodies and lose self-confidence. It’s important to watch your portions and eat your regular or a little greater than your regular serving size. Food may look yummy but it’s only good in moderation.
Holiday Binge Drinking
Alcohol plays a major role in holiday celebrations and festivities. However, binge drinking during the holiday season can trigger alcoholism. Sometimes it’s not even due to the celebrations but instead to feeling lonely and stress during the holidays. Holiday binge drinking is dangerous because not only can it lead to substance abuse, it can also cause in increase in driving under the influence and because of the weather usually being very dangerous during the holidays, accidents can get fatal.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
SAD is a type of depressive disorder brought by seasonal changes in light . Changes in light cause a disruption of our circadian rhythm or “internal clock” which leads to the overproduction of melanin. too much melanin in the body can produce depressive-like symptoms. The pineal gland is involved since the organ is responsible for the production of both serotonin and melanin. melanin is a hormone that regulates sleep patterns and mood while serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood stabilization. sad occurs when there is a disruption in this system. swipe to learn more about this disruption.