The holiday seasons are time for festivities, family get-togethers, meeting friends, and just having a good time. With such merry mood and holiday spirits everywhere, some may not realise that there is such a thing as the holiday blues. It’s not an urban legend or a tall tale, it is a real problem that people go through during the holidays, and it can be very serious. It even has a name: seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Two of the most common problems during the holiday periods are isolation and sadness.
It is the feeling of being alone and lonely. It is the feeling that there is no one out there that cares about you or thinks about you. People who face isolation very often feel left out, and unwanted. We are social creatures, born to interact with other people and make a life around and with other people. Our very mental and emotional health depends on it; and yet during some of the most festive and happiest times, people can feel the most lonely.
In many cases, the festivities and merry making may even make the isolation worse as the sufferer sees that there are happy friendships and families that all want and need each other.
Anxiety and Depression
Many people suffering from the holiday blues will feel anxious and possibly enter into a state of depression, if their condition persists and is severe enough. The anxiety can come from the expectation of the holidays. You are supposed to be happy. You are supposed to meet friends. You are supposed to enjoy yourself. These can become extra burden for some people who are already dealing with too much in their lives. Maybe they are dealing with work related stress or family issues. Holiday expectations of how things are supposed to be and how you are supposed to act and feel can often conflict with what is really happening in people’s lives.
This can cause a great deal of distress and push people towards depression.
The holiday blues are most often fleeting, and come about as a result of the particular circumstances surrounding the holidays and the environment, but some of these issues do persist for some people even beyond the holidays. This may happen due to an inability to cope with the emotions and expectations, or the person unwillingly allowed it to fester and boil over, causing deeper issues.
College of Allied Educators offers our Counselling Psychology programmes, training you to be able to identify potential emotional issues that impact quality of life so you can help yourself and others towards a happier life.
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