It’s known as ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ but for many, myself included, it’s filled with anxiety and depression. The Christmas season is meant to be a time of joy, but for many people it can be a time of stress, anxiety, disappointment or loneliness. Christmas comes with high expectations of perfect, happy families enjoying luxurious celebrations and gifts, but not all of us are able to live up to these ideals. For those who have recently lost a loved one, Christmas can intensify feelings of grief and sadness.
Some people experience feelings of isolation, financial pressures or increased family conflict that can make this a very stressful time of year. However, there are some steps you can take to help manage stress and anxiety during the festive period.
If you have not suffered from anxiety disorders before, you’ll probably find the topic of this article a bit strange, because Christmas, to you, is a time to be happy and celebrate. That is absolutely true. But I’m afraid not everybody feels this way. Many people find the month of December, as a whole, very stressful and depressing for various reasons, some of which I will briefly look at in this article, and then share five tips to help you avoid being depressed at Christmas.
“…Being depressed at Christmas…” Doesn’t that slightly sound paradoxical – as we know Christmas represents a time of celebrations and reflection of the birth of Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of PEACE?
But looking at the statistics, many people never know celebration, never mind the overwhelming peace of the Saviour. Studies show that suicide and attempted suicide rate is particularly very high during the Christmas period, with both the Police and hospitals having to cope with incidences related to suicide than they can cope with.
Also, In this time of the year, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and other health professionals experience a surge in the number of patients seeking help with their anxiety attacks, panic disorders, depression, and other anxiety-related symptoms. By the way if this explains your situation or of that of someone you know.
Of course, we all know that it has nothing to do with the true meaning Christmas, so to say. Rather, more often than not, our anxiety, depression and a sense of emptiness have a lot to do with our reactions to the event – the meanings we give to things, our thinking patterns and our exceptions. For example, our personal ideas about how a perfect Christmas should feel like, look like and even sound like, can directly affect how we feel about it all – stressed or strengthened.