Why your melancholy takes on all its meaning this holiday season

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Source: Pexels / Olia Kobruseva

Small, it’s here. Holiday season 2021. Or 2022. Anyone else losing track of time? (Ah well, it’s not just me.) While I say this (mostly) jokingly (because, really, sometimes we have to add a dose or two of lightness to make the heaviness more bearable), it did. been anything but jovial for almost two years. We’ve all been through a lot, to put it mildly, which is why you might not be able to get into the holiday spirit this year. You might even wish the vacation was over already. And then maybe feeling some sadness and anger and loss that you feel that way about a time of year that has often been joyful to you.

If this has been your experience, I hope this article helps you find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone and give you some strategies for dealing with the difficult emotions that lie ahead.

Not feeling the holidays was a common theme in the therapy sessions I did last month, with the two teenagers. and adults. It seems like a lot of us are struggling right now, and that difficulty translates into coming out of a season that expects to be happy, cheerful, and warm.

Aside from the fact that it’s still a pandemic, here’s a psychological breakdown of why you might be feeling very depressed this holiday season:

1. Prolonged stress often leads to burnout.

Burnout is a state of being in which people over-taxed for too long feel empty and disconnected from what they are doing. Burnout can be a devastating experience. While a lot of talk of burnout has focused on burnout, burnout often emerges in much broader areas.

Parenting and caregiving are two areas in which people often feel lonely and exhausted. As we approach the end of 2021 and live for nearly two years in extreme uncertainty and instability, resulting in prolonged and significant stress, many of us are suffering from pandemic burnout. We are not made to endure long-term stress before it affects our mental and physical well-being. Knowing it and naming it can help validate how you’re feeling and why it’s here.

There are ways to deal with burnout. Emphasize self-care, allow yourself to take breaks. Take a vacation, a vacation, or a mental vacation. Go for a walk outside. Spend time with your pets. And, perhaps most importantly, don’t judge or criticize yourself for how you feel. It makes sense.

Pexels / Pexabay

Source: Pexels / Pexabay

2. You are in deep grief or loss.

This pandemic has hit hard and differently for all of us (please note the dialectic here). Grief can arise when we lose someone, as unfortunately many have done over the past two years. However, grief doesn’t just manifest itself in death. Grieving can arise when there is some kind of hard-hitting loss and can have a cumulative effect. The more loss accumulates, the more complex our grief can become.

Aside from death, the loss of a “normal” unmasked life, including security, stability, socialization, even the abstract sense of wasting time, is much to mourn. Notice if grief is there for you (that would make sense). Name it. Validate his presence, Be compassionate to yourself. If you find yourself grieving this holiday season, allow yourself to do it the way you do. i love the book Soup with tears by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen as a quick, cute but powerful read on grief – and how we can afford to move through this subjective experience of pain with compassion and intention.

3. Uncertainty.

There are still so many uncertainties. Will there be another wave of the pandemic? Will my vaccine protect me? What about my children? Will things still stop? Please don’t let schools become distant anymore! All these questions are important and revolve around the fundamentals of life: health, education, employment, etc.

Living with uncertainty is never easy (see my last post), but this kind of life and death uncertainty (or life or quarantine uncertainty) has been one hell of an emotional and physical roller coaster. wreaking havoc on our mental and physical health. It’s important to take a break and recognize all the uncertainty you’ve been through. Spending time in awesome situations can help cope with uncertainty and a host of other things. I like to sit in my room and watch the trees sway in the wind. In fact, I am doing it right now as I write and creating a comfortable moment for myself. It’s hard to feel festive when there is still so much unknown and you’ve been through so much. Take it slow and be kind to yourself. Make this season an opportunity to give yourself-mentally, physically and spiritually.

To deal with the uncertainty you live with, and perhaps the impasse and helplessness that often comes with it, try making your own movement. Invent a new tradition to create energy this year (alone or with others). Make sure you intentionally connect with the things that brought you joy, experiencing them in new ways.

If it is difficult to think of mustering the energy or the means to do these things, try to visualize how you will feel after doing them, and allow that to be the light that guides you in taking the first step. Newspaper. Meditate. Spend some time alone checking in and dealing with yourself. Therapy is a good option if you notice that you are having pain and feeling bad. But, more importantly, know that not only does it feel good that you feel this way, it makes sense. This awareness and gentle acceptance alone will help you wonderfully. Knowing that all feelings pass, that all seasons are ending, at least offers a little comfort in more stormy weather. Understanding why you feel this way is part of the job. The second part is doing something about it (and sometimes doing something means doing nothing * but * noticing and accepting) coupled with more intentional behaviors like making your own movement, connecting with social support, and getting things done. that give you meaning.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Maybe you give a wry smile (how often do you actually smile to yourself? Try it.) Saying out loud, “I really experienced the spin, didn’t I?” ? »Then remember that of cours, you have a different experience this year. After all, while everything in life has literally turned upside down and turned upside down over the past couple of years, you have to expect the holidays to be too.

To find a therapist, please visit the Psychology Today Therapy Directory.


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