Cold weather, peer pressure, hectic schedules, shopping fatigue can cause holiday blues. Doctors recommend getting a few minutes of sunlight every day, exercising and keeping expectations low. Starting a new tradition like holidaying can be exciting, enlightening and can help de-clutter and discover oneself. Stay away from social networking sites for a while.
It’s easy to see why the holiday blues creep up – hectic schedules, the cold weather and myriad expectations from family and friends. Adding to the frenzy are numerous Christmas commercials on the television and activities on social media outlets that can make someone stressed out or over stimulated.
The John Hopkins School of Medicine reports that the reason depression rates rise higher during the holiday season than other times of the year is because of an overemphasis on making the “perfect” connection – via gifts, parties, and holiday events.
Although making meaningful connections with loved ones during the holidays is a noble cause, it can feel overwhelming to even do simple tasks such as finding the perfect gift. Spending hours on social media sites is also said to be a cause of depression. Subconsciously going through seemingly happy faces on Facebook and Instagram can cause one to reflect or over-analyze the quality of his or her relationships.
Another suggestion is to begin a new tradition during the holidays, such as going on a vacation out of town instead of staying at home. Much like the popular movie “Christmas With the Kranks”, a vacation out of town would help relieve feelings of loneliness and add a dash of adventure and excitement.
Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time, taking an extended walk in Central Park, touring the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam while staying in a beautiful 17th century Brownstone overlooking the canals, can be just the right spiritual connection that makes one more mindful of the present.
Experiencing the holidays in another culture could also be an enlightening experience. Germany, for example, has a much more traditional take on celebrating Christmas with many shops closing up around noon on Christmas Eve so families can spend more quality time with one another.
Traveling also helps an individual see the world from a different perspective and enables the mind to declutter from unnecessary commitments and pressures back home.
Seeing Christmas from another perspective and another culture may be a good opportunity to re-evaluate traditions at home. It’s never too late to start a new tradition, so why not start one now?