by Texas Homesteader ~
The holidays are typically met with joy & excitement. But not everyone feels happy this time of year. Whether grief, divorce, stress or something else, some have a hard time finding the joy in Christmas.
Is there anything you can do? Read on, dear friends.
I love Christmas! I really do. The sparkling lights, the gatherings, the food…
But even with all this seasonal joy I find myself falling into a dark sadness sometimes during the holidays. Maybe you do too?
Feeling Sadness During The Holidays
There are many reasons some may experience sadness during the holidays:
Grief from the loss of a loved one.
Divorce / Separation.
You’re Not Alone, Many Feel Sadness During Holidays
Feeling blue during the holidays is actually more common than you might think. According to Health News:
- 66% of people experienced increased loneliness.
- 63% felt too much pressure around the holidays.
- 57% had unrealistic expectations about Christmas and the holidays.
- 55% found themselves remembering happier times in the past compared to the present.
- 50% were sad about being unable to be with loved ones.
Sometimes the holidays become an emotional challenge for me too. Occasionally so much so that I can’t even see the abundant blessings that are heaped all around me.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (or S.A.D.)
Some people may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (or S.A.D.) According to the Mayo Clinic, S.A.D. is felt primarily in the fall & winter months when there’s less sunlight and may lead to feelings of depression.
How To Cope With Holiday Stress & Depression
I’ve written before about How To Simplify Christmas To Reduce Stress. I urge you to check that out, there’s lots of good information there.
And according to WebbMD on Coping With Holiday Stress there are a few more tips to keep in mind:
19 tips for coping with holiday stress and depression:
- Make realistic expectations for the holiday season.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Pace yourself. Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle.
- Make a list and prioritize the important activities.
- Be realistic about what you can and cannot do.
- Do not put all your energy into just one day (i.e., Thanksgiving Day, New Year’s Eve).
- Live and enjoy the present.
- Look to the future with optimism.
- Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and sadness by comparing today with the good old days of the past.
- If you are lonely, try volunteering some time to help others.
- Find holiday activities that are free, such as looking at holiday decorations, going window shopping without buying, etc.
- Limit your drinking, since excessive drinking will only increase your feelings of depression.
- Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way.
- Spend time with supportive and caring people.
- Reach out and make new friends.
- Make time to contact a long-lost friend or relative and spread some holiday cheer.
- Make time for yourself!
- Let others share the responsibilities of holiday tasks.
- Keep track of your holiday spending.
I also feel it’s important to remember that your friends are Showing Highlights Of Their Holidays on social media.
But make no mistake, behind the camera they have their chaotic times the same as everyone else.
It’s a good idea to limit social media if it causes you uneasiness.
Familial Expectations at Christmas
I have visions of perfection at Christmas and, well, we don’t live in a perfect world.
I’d love to gather all of our children (and grandchildren) under one roof and celebrate a good old-fashioned Christmas as a family like we used to.
But some years I feel that RancherMan & I don’t receive the same holiday attendance that other family members might receive from our kids. I get my feelings hurt sometimes, but this is something I’m working on.
I’m learning to accept that Christmas is not always my version of perfection. That the holidays will not always look like a Norman Rockwell image.
Stressing Over Gifts – Purchased Or Handmade?
There are some people who absolutely love shopping & finding just the right gift for each person on their gift list.
But make no mistake: Gift-Buying is not my talent.
I always stress about gifts. “Do they need this? Do they already have one of these? Is this even something they’d want?”
So RancherMan & I decided long ago to make our gifts each year.
Yes it’s true that this alleviates the Christmas shopping push-n-shove. But sometimes these homemade gifts stress me out too. Will they appreciate this? Is it worth all the time & effort we’re putting into it?
This second-guessing our gift-giving is also something I’m working on.
Expecting Perfection When Presenting Gifts
Here’s where the struggle gets real, y’all! Mama always says ‘Presentation Is Half The Gift‘ so I always fuss majorly with the actual gift presentation. Enough to make RancherMan pull his hair out each & every year!
I worry about how to ‘package’ the our homemade gifts to give them the most ‘pop’. Then it takes days (and a HUGE mess) to just to complete a few gift baskets. And that’s AFTER all the gift items had been handmade!
Do all those hours of work on just the presentation itself really garner more than a cursory glance from gift recipients?
What Brings Me Christmas Joy?
So I’m focusing on those things that bring me Christmas joy. Of course as a Christian, the celebration of the birth of Christ is deeply meaningful for me. I lean heavily on my faith to help keep me grounded during the holidays.
I also enjoy decorating our small tree with sentimental ornaments too.
And of course I love gathering with our extended family who have always been a close-knit group.
Time to Take A Breath – Perfection Is Not Necessary!
Here are the steps I’m taking for myself to keep the JOY in my holiday this year:
Surround myself with those holiday traditions that bring me joy. Simple decorations, homemade hot cocoa, a fire in the fireplace – good friends & the love of family.
Remembering our heartfelt homemade gifts don’t have to be perfect as long as they’re made with love.
Our gifts can be presented nicely without going overboard & striving for perfection.
Family who attend our gatherings will be appreciated and I’ll strive to be understanding of those whom cannot attend.
Do you find yourself in a funk this time of year? What do you do to try to alleviate the blues? How do you keep the joy in your holiday?
- Webb MD – Coping With Holiday Depression & Stress
- Health News – Feeling Sad During Christmas
- Mayo Clinic – Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D)
Other Christmas Posts You Might Like:
Gifts Of Food
- Cute Santa Sleigh Made With Candy
- Candy Snowman With Gloves (optional CASH Gift Idea!)
- MYO Snowman Treat Jar Gift
- Cinnamon Sugared Pecans
- Homemade Chai Tea Mix
- Easy Homemade Jerky
- Homemade Pumpkin Granola
- Apple Pie Filling In A Jar
Easy Homemade Gift Ideas
- Homemade Gifts We’ve Given
- Easy Last-Minute Gifts For A Group
- Personalized Oak Cutting Board
- All-Natural Beeswax Wood Conditioner
- Gardener’s Hand Scrub
- 3-Ingredient Beeswax Lip Balm
- Repurposed Denim Pocket-Sized Hand Warmers
- Photo Wall Hanging Using Reclaimed Barn Wood
- Wax-Dipped Pinecone Fire Starters
- Cedar Solar-Light Garden Feature
- Rustic Bois d’Arc Solar Light
Other Gift Ideas
- Gift Ideas For The Eco-Friendly Mom
- Gift Ideas For Dad
- Must-Haves For Any Home Cook
- 8 Environmentally Friendly Gifts For Your Friends
- Low-Waste Christmas Gifts We’ve Received
- Keeping Track Of Gift-Card Balances
- Experience Gift Ideas
Low-Waste Gift Wrapping & Presentation
- Reusable Gift Wrap Ideas
- Fastest Zero-Waste Gift Wrapping – Using Cloth
- Low-Waste Gift Baskets
- Rustic Repurposed-Denim Baskets
- Make A Cute Gift Box Using A Christmas Card!
- Make a Customized Label With Plain Ole Shipping Tape
Holiday Cooking Tips
- Holiday Cooking Shortcuts, Tips & Recipes
- Quick Ingredient Substitutions (Eliminate a run to the grocery store)
- Easy Trick To Fill Resealable Bags
- Simplify Christmas To Reduce Stress
- A Small Christmas Tree Can Be BEAUTIFUL!
- Keeping The JOY In The Christmas Season
- The Truth Behind Perfect Facebook Posts
- Don’t Judge The Need Of Others
- Want To Keep Christ In Christmas?
- Thinking Of Adding A Pup To Your Home This Christmas?
C’mon by & sit a spell! Come hang out at our Facebook Page. It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea. There are lots of good folks sharing! And you can also follow along on Pinterest, on Instagram or on Twitter.
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