But its Cold and Dark Man!
It’s getting colder, the days are the shortest they will be all year, and the weather is often dubious. On that note, I’ve always thought a wintery mix sounds like some kind of decadent snack mix with salty and sweet notes and lots of powdered sugar). On top of it all, Hallmark movies and advertisements seem to assume that everyone has a perfect Leave it to Beaver family and everyone is in love.
The Holiday Blues are Common AND Natural
In fact, I am here to say that the holiday blues are common. Also, having less energy is natural. With shorter days, our ancestors would have been sleeping more, as they depended on the sun for decent lighting. So, your circadian rhythms are encouraging you to do less and get more rest. The cold weather makes it make sense to stay in with a craft project, a good book, or a cup of tea.
However, society seems to pander a different story. Do more, spend more, eat more, travel! The to-do list and the shopping lists are endless.
What if it’s more than the blues?
Am I Depressed?
There are several examples where a case of the “blahs” needs more than some rest and down time. In that case it may be that you find that you can’t get your normal responsibilities done, like going to work or cooking dinner. You may find that taking a shower becomes a monumental task. Another example is crying all the time. These are symptoms of a more serious level of depression.
On the other hand, depression may not include crying and sadness. Other symptoms of depression include not enjoying things you used to enjoy or feeling chronically numb.
Both sets of symptoms may mean that you want to invest some into yourself with a therapist. A therapist can also help you monitor your symptoms to see if you need to talk to a doctor.
Seasonal depression may have the same symptoms of depression but may manifest yearly as the days get shorter. In this case, vitamin D and/or light therapy may be in order. Your doctor can tell you if you have a vitamin deficiency and tell you how much vitamin D to take. Furthermore, studies have found that sitting in front of a light box that mimics the sun may help. You can read more about light therapy here.
Another example is with grief. Bouts of grief can be worse during important anniversaries such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is also the case for birthdays or relationship anniversaries. Learn more about the grief process on my blog about myths about grief and my posts about the pathway through grief.
With that said, this year is worth grieving. Many of us are not doing the normal family traditions. This year has been really lonely due to social distancing and necessary isolation. A facetime call isn’t the same as hug. I get it.
What if you were to take a different approach?
The answer is mindfulness. First, check in with yourself regularly by asking your body what you need. Then, get as much rest as you need. Next, take sure that you are planning in down time. Most of all, give yourself permission to say “no.”
For lots of people, the alone time has been stressful. For some people they have found the alone time gave them a break from the busyness. The lower energy level may not be the blues. That anxiety you’re feeling, might be your unconscious trying to tell you something. Maybe there’s change, a potential, something new waiting for you. Or maybe it’s a seed within you, waiting for the spring to sprout.
If this rings true, you may be interested in my other blog that talks about how anxiety and depression are not the enemy.
The holiday blues are tough. In a time where society tells us to do more, our bodies or souls might be telling us to slow down. Whether you are in tune with the natural cycles of the seasons, or experiencing grief or depression, there are different ways to look at the holiday blues. Is this the year to trim your holiday to-do list? Is this the year to make some changes in your life and invest in your self.
I love working with people who are ready to make some changes. That call deep within you may be your destiny. It’s okay to feel down, and not excited now. That’s part of the gestation period.
Want to learn more? Contact me.