'Tis The Season To Be... SAD?

Everyone is rekindling with old friends, new friends, loved ones and family and that can slowly feel like you’re drowning in the tinsel and Christmas ornaments. Especially during this time of the year, one might feel alone or as if you’re not fulfilled, but then you wonder, “Why do I feel this way?” Seasonal affective disorder or SAD is depression that’s normally related to the seasons. It normally starts and ends at the same time of the year. Most people with SAD have symptoms that begin in the fall and continue through the winter.

One of the greatest factors of depression during the holidays is social isolation. If you have a small circle of friends, aren’t invited to an “x” number amount of friendsgivings, or your feed is blowing up with all of these events, your head might take you to the feeling of being left out or like you’re not enough. But here’s a positive thought: you are. It may sound repetitive, but it is the truth: you are more than enough. So, a way to combat this feeling of isolation is just as easy as picking up the phone and hanging out with family or friends. It sounds easier said than done, and that is understandable, but you need to do this for you. The holidays are a time to reflect on your past actions and shedding light on what you’d like to accomplish. Use this time to be honest to yourself and analyze your feelings. You may even feel the need to reach out to a therapist, and that’s more than okay. Once you reach out for help, you can start to combat these feelings and understand where they come from.

Another reason for depression during the holidays could be that you’re grieving those who are missing this time of year. Grieving can be very hard and emotionally exhausting, even more when seeing friends and family rejoice in each other’s company. It makes you think back when things in your life were at peace. But you don’t have to let this emotional grief get to you, instead you can ignite something in you to give back to others. You can start a new tradition with your family like a vacation or outing, you can volunteer at a soup kitchen or a gift drive or go for a walk in the park, clear your mind and just vibe with nature. However, if you’re at an event and you feel uncomfortable or like you need a break, that’s okay: you can leave. Everyone grieves at their own pace and time, so don’t feel like there is a deadline.

If you’re feeling this way for a long period of time, it’s okay to ask for help. A doctor can always help you target those specific feelings and thoughts and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Before doing anything rash, you can always call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

But take it from me, all you need these holidays is whoever you consider your family, those who you love, and take it from there. Don’t feed into everyone else’s lives, because yours is just as great.