Holidays can be a difficult time for many people. Depression during the holidays is very common. Those that have lost loved ones, the homeless, the poor, the sick, and the lonely find this time of the year the roughest. Sometimes we forget that people around us are silently suffering through what should be the happiest time of the year. Holidays are filled with joy, cheer, parties and gifts, and most importantly friends and family. However, how do you cope with this blissful season when something in your life is missing or not going right?
How to Cope With Depression During The Holidays
I can say that I have managed through all of the situations above, with difficulty of course, but more importantly with strength and the grace of God. I remember not having a dime to my name and no real place to call home one Christmas. It was a very sad time for me. The thought of Christmas gave me a sense of isolation and a queasy feeling in my stomach. Instead of allowing the feeling to overcome me, I made some adjustments. I remember buying a plant and making decorations from notebook paper to attach to it to call “my Christmas tree”. It wasn’t much but it brightened the table of the dingy hotel room that was called home. I can’t say what I ate that year, but I do know it was a humbling experience. I never looked at the Holidays the same again.
You see the season isn’t about what you have or what you can give monetarily; it is about how you allow God into your heart. Without prayer and hope, I don’t know where I’d be. Hope is a powerful trait to possess. Having hope, and the belief that situations will get better is the ends of all mean when you are down on life. The constant belief that God will help you through leads for a brighter day and a new beginning. I know it may sound cliché and sometimes hard to understand, but it is true, if God brought you to it, he will lead you through it, you simply have to listen.
You Are Not Alone During the Holidays
The lonely are often overlooked because the sheer emotion of being lonely is something that doesn’t have to physically display itself to the world. Rather it is something a person could be holding inside. An invite to a Christmas dinner or celebration parties could be all that someone needs to help make that day easier.
While some people that are dealing with depression during the holiday, choose to be alone, others yearn for a sense of acceptance. When you are healing through a rough time, it is natural to cry and feel alone. One way to take your mind off the pain is to surround yourself with people that love you as much you love them. If you don’t have anyone like this in your life, it is a great idea to volunteer to help others (if you have the capability). Volunteer at a homeless shelter, send a child a gift or help an elderly neighbor wrap Christmas gifts. Initially, it may be difficult to go and you may want to stay at home and feel your pain, but once you are out and about your mind won’t feel as cluttered. If you know someone that may be suffering during this time, extend an invite to the festivities you never know that may be what they need.
Life difficulties can be overwhelming, but remember the Holidays are just another week and this too shall pass.
If you need financial help during this time, please reach out to your local Salvation Army.
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With Love, Janelle