The holiday season often arrives with an expectation of unbridled joy and festive cheer and this pressure to exude constant joy can often result in feelings of sadness and anxiety (aka the holiday blues).

So if you're finding it hard to catch the holiday cheer, rest assured, it's perfectly normal! And you definitely shouldn’t feel guilty about it... but there are some things that can help you get through this.

Authenticity Over Conformity

Rather than conforming to societal expectations, prioritize authenticity. Embrace the beauty of your true emotions and allow the holiday season to unfold in a way that feels genuine to you.

It's okay to take a step back from the hustle and bustle and just do whatever makes you happier and more comfortable.

Navigating Social Media Realities

The comparison trap is real, especially during the holiday season. If the festive posts of others make you feel like you're missing out, consider taking a break or muting certain content.

Remember, your well-being comes first and it's not fair to compare your behind the scenes with someone’s highlights reel. People are normally going through something they don't talk about.

Finding Comfort in a Quieter Celebration

The rule is simple: your holiday, your rules.

If certain activities or gatherings feel overwhelming, it's perfectly acceptable to set boundaries. Politely decline what doesn't align with your comfort level and opt for activities that bring you genuine joy, even if they're low-key.

Instead of succumbing to external pressures, focus on respecting your emotions. 

Understanding your feelings can lead to powerful insights and might guide you to what truly brings you joy! Whether it's creating new traditions, connecting with loved ones in a more meaningful way, or simply not celebrating xmas, find happiness on your own terms.

Embracing the Freedom of Missing Out

Embrace the joy of missing out (JOMO), a laid-back counterpart to FOMO. Stepping back from overwhelming social situations allows for self-reflection and an opportunity to create personal moments of joy. Sit with your emotions, appreciate quiet moments, and let them lead you to a serene sense of happiness.

Recognize Your Emotions

Distinguishing between the holiday blues and clinical depression is essential.

According to specialists individuals experiencing the holiday blues can often reassure themselves that these feelings of sorrow and loneliness are situational, anticipating their subsidence upon returning to regular routines, such as going back to work.

While clinical depression often reveals itself through a range of coping mechanisms that individuals employ to alleviate chronic emotional pain. These coping strategies may involve engaging in destructive behaviors.

Depression can also be accompanied by a pervasive sense of hopelessness and a tendency to deny the severity of the situation, making it challenging for individuals to recognize and address their emotional struggles.

Whether it’s clinical depression or just the holiday blues is extremely important that you know how to deal with emotions and that you can share this feelings and thoughts with someone so don't hesitate on looking for a professional help.

December 18, 2023 — Luiza Leite

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