Zeeb: Holiday depression digs deep in Eagle County
Eagle County CO, Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” The holidays are here! The Christmas bells are ringing and shoppers are hustling through the malls. Excitement’s in the air as Santa cries out “ho-ho-ho.”
Children wait with anticipation to sit on Santa’s lap. Families are planning their time together, the trees are lit with Christmas decorations and houses glow with red and green lights, some with large reindeer on the roofs.
Holidays are not always exciting for everyone, though. The stress of the holidays can lead to depression. The stress of holidays can be unpleasant and many people do not enjoy them at all.
The economy and the state of the world can have an impact as well. Some people may have lost their jobs, and some may have family members who are in dire straits. Some may have unpleasant memories of Christmas past. All of these can add up to a difficult time of year.
If you know that during a particular time of year you always feel sad, sick, or emotionally drained, do something different. You can change the energy of anything by going into it with a renewed energy of your own. It has to change because you are not participating in it the same way you always have.
The expectation of our emotional state of mind will set us up for failure once again. If, for example, your birthday month is a time that you feel depressed, you will anticipate the month and anticipate the same feelings.
This doesn’t have to be. Honor yourself by choosing to celebrate your life. Change it up. Go on a vacation, take a trip, or meditate more. Do something different. Sitting around anticipating the month knowing you will be depressed or sad will only bring it on.
This holiday season, if the past was not so pleasant or current conditions are not so good, do something different. Treat yourself better this year. Honor yourself. If you are expected to be places or to be with the same friends and family, go for a long drive before attending, sing loudly, take a small trip and return refreshed and ready to face a new holiday season.
If drinking or over-eating is an issue for you during the holiday seasons, make sure you plan how you are going to handle this year better than prior years.
Don’t drive to friends and families homes/parties if you know you are going to drink ” make other arrangements for getting there and getting home. If you over-eat, plan exactly how much you are going to allow yourself to eat before you go, eat slower than you used to and learn to say “no, thank you” to seconds.
If family gatherings are times when family members bring up old habits and everyone hears the same story of what you did when you were a kid, try changing the subject by talking about something you are doing now.
Changing the way families and friends see us is not easy, but we are the only ones who can do that. We have to learn to step up and share new things we are doing and tell them how things have changed in our life, otherwise, how will they know?
You are not the only person who doesn’t like certain times of a year whether it’s a holiday season or a birthday month or a month you lost a loved one. You are in charge of your life; the events of life are not in charge of you.
Smile more, even if you don’t want to. Volunteer somewhere. Go on that hike or camping trip you’ve been thinking about. Do something different ” it will make you feel good and change the old way you’ve dealt with holidays. Blessings to all and Merry Christmas!
Catherine Zeeb holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Metaphysics. She has a private therapy practice in Edwards. You can visit her Web site at http://www.healing-spirits.net.