Surviving Seasonal and Holiday Sadness
While the holidays are known for being a time of joy and cheer, oftentimes we can also feel a strong sense of sadness and loneliness. We can feel it because we miss family members, we can feel it because of the trauma dealing with family causes, or even just because there’s not as much sunlight during the day.
Whatever the reason, seasonal and holiday sadness is a very real thing and shouldn’t be pushed aside. It can be even more hostile towards individuals who already have a mental illness such as depression.
Although it may not be possible to avoid entirely, here are some ways that can help you survive seasonal sadness this holiday season:
(Before we start this list, I should clarify that these things won’t work for everyone. It won’t just erase sadness or depression. But hopefully some things on this list can help you ease or get through these feelings)
It’s Okay To Say No
Many individuals feel an increase in stress and sadness during the holidays due to the wide variety of commitments they have made. This is where the power of no comes in. You don’t have to say yes to everything. You don’t have to go to your cousin’s Christmas play. You don’t have to go sledding with your younger sibling. If those things are causing you stress, it’s okay to say no. Say no to commitments you don’t want to actually commit to.
Try talking to the people in your life to see if you can share responsibilities in hosting, or meal preparation, or even gift shopping.
Do something for yourself every single day for at least ten minutes. Whether that’s journaling, drawing, meditating, dancing, do something where you’re only focusing on that one thing. This could help ease stress and clear out some of the weight that is building in your heart.
Aromatherapy Can Help With Sadness
Aromatherapy can help some people stabilize their moods. Some scents can help stimulate the area of the brain that is in control of moods. Add some oil to your bath or shower, rub some oil on your neck, nose, and forehead. You can even get an oil diffuser for pretty cheap. This will help permeate the aroma throughout your room or home. Some essential oils that may help you ease some of your sadness are:
- Ylang Ylang
Get That Vitamin D
One of the main contributors to seasonal affectiveness disorder is a low amount of vitamin D. This is due to the lack of sunlight during the winter months. If you’re unable to get enough sunshine each day, it’s important to find other ways to get that supplement into your body.
Vitamin D tablets can help provide you with the essential amount of vitamin D you need. Larger amounts of vitamin D have also been shown to help people with clinical depression.
Ask for Help
You don’t have to be in this alone. You are not a burden. I’m going to repeat that: you are not a burden. You are worth the help that you don’t think you deserve. Reach out to people who are close to you that you feel like you can confide in. If you have a therapist or ways to reach out to a professional, don’t be afraid to do so.
On top on that, if you don’t have a therapist, don’t be afraid to go to a doctor or to book an appointment to see a therapist. There is no shame in seeking treatment, because there is no reason to be embarrassed by feeling the emotions you are feeling. They are valid.
You also shouldn’t be afraid to call a hotline to speak to someone who may help you when you need it most. Free hotline numbers include:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: 1-800-662-HELP
- National Hopeline Network: 1-800-784-2433
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663
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