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10 Holiday Blues Only People With Depression Would Understand

10 Holiday Blues Only People With Depression Would Understand

The holidays are supposed to be a time for joy and celebration; however, not everyone feels the same. If you suffer from depression, you may find it difficult to cope during these festive seasons. The holiday atmosphere actually makes you feel more depressed and bad about yourself.

Here are 10 holiday blues only people with depression would understand.

1. You want to feel joyous like everyone else but you can’t.

You understand that the holidays are meant to be joyous and celebrated. You wish you could join in the fun, but you just can’t feel the holiday spirit. Your world is so bleak that you can’t see any hope for the future. The holidays are just like any other day of the year, only worse.

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2. You don’t wish to dampen the holiday spirit with your depression.

The holidays make you feel worse because you know that your friends are having fun but you don’t wish to be the one spoiling their fun. Even though you need support from your friends, you would rather be alone and not reach out to them. You don’t want to bring down their moods with your depression. You feel unworthy to celebrate with them.

3. You don’t want other people to know about your depression.

Depression is not something you want to talk about during the holidays. You are afraid that when you talk about it, you would suddenly cry in front of all your friends like what you usually do alone at night. Not only will it spoil the festive mood, but you will also feel ashamed crying in front of others, especially when it’s the holidays.

4.  You deny your own feelings for the holiday.

People expect you to be happy during the holidays. You don’t have the holiday feeling, but you pretend that you are enjoying yourself so that others don’t probe further. Feeling depressed is already bad enough. On top of that, you have to pretend that you are fine during the holidays. Not being able to be yourself and feel your emotions makes you feel even worse during this period.

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5. You would rather hide than catch up with your relatives.

You hate it when relatives ask you, “How are you doing?” You know this question is unavoidable. They haven’t seen you for a long time and want to catch up with your life. However, you feel like running away because you can’t answer this question honestly. Not only will you risk having a breakdown in front of them, but you also think they won’t understand and accept depression.

6. You want to avoid crowds, but people keep asking you out.

There are 365 days in a year. All of your friends seem to be free only during the holiday period. Everyone is asking you out for parties so that they can catch up with you and everybody else together. Honestly, you just want to be alone at home. Seeing crowds make you panic for no logical reason. You know you will feel worse after the parties. That said, in the end, you agree to turn up for a couple of them because you are so tired of rejecting your friends.

7. You dread gift exchange.

Getting the energy to cope with daily life is already a struggle to you. Having to buy gifts for others is asking too much of you. You don’t know what to buy for your friends. There are too many choices. What if they don’t like what you have bought? Everything seems so costly. There are so many things to worry about for gift exchange. You can’t see the joy in it.

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8. You have to spend more time alone to recover from the holiday parties.

Every party you go, it drains you and leaves you feeling more depressed. You need to make extra effort to socialize with others when all you want to do is sleep at home and not bother with anyone else. You know you don’t bring your best to the party and you leave others with a bad impression. After each party, you feel worse and blame yourself for accepting your friend’s invitation.

9. Your friends don’t understand why you could feel depressed amidst all this joy.

You tell your best friends how you feel, but they think that you are too negative and ask you to lighten up for the holidays instead. They think you’ll get better with all the celebrations around you. You used to believe that holidays like Christmas were magical. However, ever since you have depression, you feel like you are abnormal and everybody doesn’t understand you.

10. You are reminded how unhappy you are when see other people happy.

During the holiday seasons, you just want to turn everything off. Walking on the streets and seeing everyone else happy with their families makes you more depressed with the state you are in. You can’t read social media posts anymore because everyone except you seems to be in so much joy and happiness. You wish your depression would be over soon so that you can be like everyone else again.

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Featured photo credit: Rainy Christmas Grief Child Kid / PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.com

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Yong Kang Chan

Self-Help Author (Writes about Self-Compassion and Mindfulness)

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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