7 Tips for Overcoming the Christmas Blues
How to overcome the Christmas blues is for everyone. In my opinion, whether you are a Christian, a Muslim, an agnostic or an atheist, all religions have their festivals and celebrations and Christmas is no different.
The general comments in this article are for everyone who is celebrating a festival or a holiday, so whenever you see the word Christmas please just replace it with your own celebration instead.
Christmas is normally a time of fellowship and joy, a time when loved ones come together and celebrate the past year. Traditionally it’s a time of happiness and togetherness, but for many the festive season can be a time of loneliness, discouragement and misery punctuated by painful memories of the past. The Christmas blues can affect anyone at any age.
“Oh Santa may have brought you some stars for your shoes. But Santa only brought me the blues; those brightly packaged tinsel covered Christmas blues.” – written and performed by Sammy Cahn and David Jack Holt
According to South African Depression & Anxiety Group (SADAG) Christmas brings with it increased depression and suicide. Students are concerned about their exam results, many people relive their grief and mourning of those who have passed away, the elderly feel lonely and abandoned when their children go away on holiday and leave them behind.
It would seem that even business people don’t always see Christmas as a happy time. They struggle to break free from their work habits and thoughts, not getting along with family and relatives over the festive season can also lead to anxiety and depression, not to mention the financial strain of buying gifts for everyone.
For those of you that are struggling to see the joy of Christmas this year, I want to share with you some simple ‘Sad Busting’ tips to help you overcome the Christmas blues and hit the road to joy.
- Exercise the blues away, most don’t want to hear about exercising especially over the festive season, but it’s the quickest and most effective way of relieving stress and anxiety. Exercise does more than just benefit the body; it quickens the brain into releasing ‘feel-good’ chemicals into the body.
- Do something entirely different by breaking with tradition. Go sit on a park bench or under a tree and eat some fish & chips, visit your local botanical garden and take pictures of flowers, look out for people less fortunate than yourself and extend the hand of friendship to them .
- If you are going to be alone plan your days, include visiting malls, watching movies, attending carols by candle light, dropping by an old friend. Maybe plan a trip to some places you never been to and use the train, a bus, a plane or a horse to sight see.
- Plan small acts of kindness to your neighbours; Many people live next door to each other for years and have never even met, now’s the perfect time to connect with them. Take them a small gift like cupcakes, chocolate or a tin of biscuits, or whatever your imagination can come up with.
- Make a list of all your blessings. Take time to look back over the past year and realise how good your life has been compared to some. Allow your senses to connect with all the successes, victories and achievements you have experienced throughout the year no matter how small.
- Volunteer your help over the festive season. There are many non profit organisations that are always in need of a helping hand. You’ll find that by offering your help to these people, you will immediately feel needed, valued and experience less loneliness.
- Contemplate your future for the New Year. What do you want to see happen? What changes are you going to make? Are there new paths you will be taking? Write down whatever comes to mind and then prioritise them. You may want to make changes in the following areas of your life; health, wealth, relationships and lifestyle, simply write down possible improvements you would like to see in them.
I hope these 7 tips will help you realize, Christmas is what you make of it and that you can overcome the Christmas blues.
SADAG Suicide Crisis Line – 0800 567 567 or SMS 31393