Christmas depression: why do we feel sad on these dates? | WELLNESS
The Christmas It is always seen as a stage of union, love and happiness, but it is also one of the times of the year in which sadness increases the most, and in some cases, the depression. The stress of shopping and having everything ready can be some of the factors why we see these dates as negative. Given this, Wellness from Diario El Comercio spoke with Karina Otoya, a professor in the Psychology program at the UPC, who explained in detail what this sadness consists of and how we can handle it.
“More than a depression as such, it is a negative mood which is characterized by having a lot of sadness, nostalgia, apathy or we can feel that we do not enjoy the celebration of that day”, commented the specialist.
What makes us feel sad at Christmas?
Christmas depression is characterized mainly by having feelings of shame, not wanting to participate and isolate; some people may have sleep disturbances such as insomnia or even drowsiness, they may feel fatigued and sleepy all day; and finally there may be changes in appetite, anger or irritability. There are several factors, according to Otoya, why a person can present these characteristics at Christmas:
- It is sold as a time of illusion, union, happiness and love: In Christmas, You may be living personal moments that express the opposite. There’s a conflict between all the propaganda and everything in the media and we usually compare ourselves with that, making phrases like: “I should be happy and I’m not” or “It should be family bonding time, but we’re all fighting.”
- It is a time of stress: There are meetings, shopping, preparations, etc. Some people find it stressful having to comply with everything that Christmas requires.
- The economic issue: Christmas has a commercial weight and a very high consumerism. There is a pressure to make purchases and if they do not have the financial resources to meet what “should be met” You may feel bad or you may feel that you don’t measure up to others.
- Regards: Adults often remember their childhood and there is a feeling of sorrow for something that is no longer there, like their childhood or the loss of a family member.
- Self reflection: We begin to wonder what has been done or what has been achieved in the year. There may be a feeling of satisfaction, but there may also be a negative critical look at it.
How to handle the Christmas blues?
Otoya points out that this sadness is manageable and there are ways to prepare for these difficult dates:
- Distance yourself from social media: This does not mean getting out of them, but looking at them critically. Not everything that is posted on networks is what is really happening to each one.
- Enjoy within what you have: Try to enjoy the design of Christmas that we have built and are having with our family. It may be little, because we are not having a good time, but we must learn to value what we have.
- Focus on the present: It is inevitable that memories appear on these dates, but focusing on what is no longer there or what has already happened will make us feel really sad.
- Put boundaries: If you don’t feel well going to meetings this month, it is not necessary to attend all of them, everyone is free to decide what to do on these dates, especially if it is about mental and emotional health. You have to take it more calmly, without overloading with meetings or purchases or debts.
It should be noted that older adults are the ones who can fall into sadness the most in these times, therefore, if there is an older adult, whether they are grandparents, parents, uncles, who are spending it alone, the ideal would be include them so they don’t feel that way.