7 Reasons You Might Be Depressed During the Holidays

The holiday season is a time filled with self-reflection, anxiety, and sadness for many Americans/ It can seem odd and hard to understand, as Christmas is supposed to be one of the most festive times of the year. It is a period for celebrating, social gatherings, and present exchanges. 

However, according to mental health organizations and reports, the end of the year can be overwhelming with holiday stress. The feeling can appear during the countdown before Christmas or even between Christmas and New Year. You can’t afford to ignore your emotions. Holiday stress has the potential to evolve and grow into full-fledged depression, anxiety disorder, or even chronic stress issues. The end of year blues can stick with you for many months.

So, it’s essential to be honest with yourself when it comes to mental health. Yet, this doesn’t stop us from asking what brings the damaging holiday stress into our lives. Identifying your trigger(s) can help address the issue and regain control of your mood. 

1. Your fitness routine is going nowhere

If you’ve started a fitness routine this year, you might have had a specific goal in mind, such as fitting in your holiday outfit. Unfortunately, fitness faux pas can affect your motivation and results. It can be difficult to create a sustainable fitness habit when you create too many restrictions for yourself.

For example, a strict calorie-deficit diet can slow down your progress and make it hard to stay focused. If you don’t eat enough to fuel your energy, your body goes into starvation mode. Extreme deficit diets can be counterproductive. You can’t work out effectively when your body is running low on energy. This means that you are unlikely to see positive results. 

Additionally, fitness should be a positive and mood-enhancing habit. If you find it hard to motivate yourself, you need to reconsider your choices. Motivation is instrumental to sticking to your habit and noticing improvements. As a result, you could feel disappointed and disheartened when your pre-holiday workout fails to deliver the expected results. 

2. You feel your work is not valued

The pandemic has been a tough and stressful time for employees. It’s been hard to adjust to the new pace and work routines. Many employees have had to improvise a home office environment at the start of the pandemic, making do with the space and furniture available in their homes. It’s not been without challenges! Besides, employees who relied on work interactions as part of their social life found themselves lonely and isolated. However, everyone has been doing their best to make it work. 

Understandably, it can be frustrating to head back to the office and realize that the business took your hard work for granted. Employee recognition is crucial. After the emotional rollercoaster of the pandemic, employees want to feel valued, appreciated, and listened to. So when your manager doesn’t even utter a single thank-you for your work, it can make you feel like your time and skills are taken for granted.   

3. You’ve worked too hard

When was the last time you took a day off? If you can’t remember, you’ve probably worked too hard. Many companies have slowed down their activities at the start of the pandemic.

However, with the vaccine rollout and safety regulations in place, businesses are not trying to catch up and recover their pandemic losses. It is a big ask for employees, who need to work even longer hours to make up for the profit deficit. 

Quite frankly, you need a break to recharge your batteries. It is unfair from your employer to expect you to hit the ground running in a post-pandemic environment. The mental health impact of the pandemic is still very present in our minds. You need time to rest and recover from the emotional toll it’s taken on you. 

4. You miss direct sun exposure

We approach the winter solstice, the time of the year when days are the shortest. So, if you commute to work every day, you probably already have the odd sensation that you never get to see the daylight. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short, affects millions of Americans every year. Ultimately, symptoms can vary from fatigue to a lack of interest in activities for mild versions. However, e winter blues can also bring serious depressive disorders, so it’s not something you want to take lightly. Unfortunately, if you can’t change your daily schedule, you need to get creative to maximize direct sunlight. Simple routines such as taking a walk outside during your lunch break can make a huge difference to your mood. Therapists also recommend investing in a SAD light, which can help recharge your body and mind. It’s also crucial to keep on top of your condition. If SAD affects your mood, appetite, and sleep for several days, you should contact your doctor for support. 

5. You’re worried about Christmas prep

Are you having your family over for Christmas? Christmas dinner can be stressful to plan and organize by yourself, especially when you need to prepare guest bedrooms and decorate. Yet, you don’t have to do everything by yourself. You can share tasks with your guests to ensure you’ve got enough time to relax. 

Two weeks before Christmas is the best time to make a list of your guests. This will allow you to identify potential helpers. It’s important to keep things fair. For instance, if your cousin is coming with a young baby, she will likely have too much on her plate to help you with the preparations.

However, other guests or even your household can lend you a hand. You can allocate tasks based on everyone’s time, skills, and confidence. A confident baker, for instance, could prepare a few batches of Christmas cookies. Someone else could prepare the vegetables, so you only need to reheat them. In other words, there’s no need to stress out about Christmas dinner. Teamwork makes perfect! 

6. Time flies

How is it December already? It seems that January was only yesterday. If you feel like the year has gone by quickly, it can seem like you’ve done nothing in the past 12 months. The year can lead to a sensation of being unproductive and wasting your time. So, it can be helpful to learn to keep track of your time and organize your days.

A journaling habit can be an excellent way to feel more in control. You can create short-term goals for yourself, such as things you want to achieve every week or month. You can also use journaling to plan long-term goals, including the things you want to do or change during the year to come. 

For instance, if you are worried that you have not reached your goals for 2021, journaling can help you set up a plan in action, designing a roadmap of milestones and steps to turn your goal into reality.

It also offers an excellent platform for self-reflection. After all, perhaps your goals for 2021 were unrealistic or poorly defined. Understanding what went wrong can ensure your time won’t go to waste in 2022. 

7. You’ve got money problems

Last but not least, the pandemic has increased your debt. First, it’s essential to understand that the pandemic has affected everyone, increasing the average household debt to $150,000. Temporary loss of employment or income, increased energy expenses, and hefty health bills have made it tricky for Americans to keep their finances healthy. President Biden has already put measures in place to support households and businesses and help recover the American debt. We are starting a long financial recovery journey that’s expected to take many years. Help is on its way, even though it might be slow to reach you. 

In conclusion, holiday stress dramatically affects your mental health. The sooner you identify the source of your worry, the sooner you can seek support. Remember: You are not alone.  

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.