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No Christmas Spirit? Me Either

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Up until today I hadn’t bought one Christmas present.  I hadn’t put up my Christmas tree, nor strung one piece of tinsel.  I just wasn’t feeling it.

This wasn’t like me.  I am the one that will play Christmas music in July, singing along to “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” daring anyone in the office to breathe a word.  Every year I would watch all the Christmas specials, even though I have seen them a gazillion times, but not this year.

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Something seemed off and I was definitely not myself.  I seemed moody and melancholy.  It took longer for me to get out of bed.  I saw everyone rushing about happily chatting about the season, while I struggled to get the words Merry Christmas to even come out of my mouth.

Scrooge

I noticed that I wasn’t alone.  I saw some of my Facebook friends posting about not feeling the Christmas spirit and being a little down.  I’m not sure exactly what they were experiencing, but for me a combination of things seemed to contribute to my mood:

(1)    Every year I wait until the last minute to shop for gifts.  Although last year I decided to give DIY gifts to my family and friends, this year I struggle to make up my mind on what to do.  I don’t know if I want to DIY it or rush out into the overcrowded department stores and get crushed in the melee.

(2)    This is a continuation of #1, but the commercialism of the season gets to me every year. While I know that presents are not the reason for the season, I still struggle with it nonetheless.  The financial aspect gets me every time.  Wondering should I spend non-existent  money (read: credit card) on gifts that I know I can’t afford to buy.

ChristmasRush

(3)    Another reason for my blue Christmas mood is the fact that AGAIN I will not have a boo/cuddle buddy /significant other to celebrate the season and ring in the new year with.  Try as I might to convince myself that I am over that, it still manages to creep back in every now and again.  I lament over the fact that I just might be toasting it up with other single girlfriends or having a “Sex in the City” movie night, while relaxing in comfy jammies.  The thought of watching couples kissing and bringing in the new year with Carson Daly can tread on a nerve. I admit it.

(4)    And lastly, I get reflective this time of year.  I self-reflect on all that I have accomplished and in doing this I can sometimes bemoan things that I didn’t finish. I’ve been told on too many occasions that I’m a perfectionist and I need to let this habit die. I’m still working on it.

MirandaAlone

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Icon_Sensible-Homework_220x220bSince I have been through depression before, I recognize the signs.  I found that according to my doctor, many people go through a sad period or form of depression during the holidays.  It could be the overcast, gloomy day that does it causing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), reflections on inadequacies of life or the thought of spending the holidays without a loved one that was here last year.  There are many reasons, including the ones that affect me above, but there are ways to combat it.

  •  Know that depression is serious.  For me I know that this will pass, but in the event that you feel it has gone on for some time, seek the help of a mental health professional.
  • Reflect on what you are thankful for.  So many are without this time of year and it is always good to think of things you are truly grateful for.
  • Do something different for the holidays.  Visit a children’s hospital, nursing home or serve dinner at a shelter.
  • Along with your holiday fare make sure you eat foods that will aid in producing serotonin.  There are studies that link low levels of serotonin with depression.  Nuts, grains and egg whites are a few that will boost those levels.  This will help fight off the winter blahs.
  • Don’t spend what you don’t have.  I decided to DIY it again this year.  A personalized note about how you feel about your loved ones always touches the heart.
  • Understand the real reason for the season.

I think Linus the right idea.

I’m happy to say that I’ve finally gotten into the Christmas spirit.  My tree is going up tonight and I have the old favorites playing.  Mood officially changed.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.

 

Sources:

[Grumpy Cat] [A Christmas Carol 1938] [Charlie Brown Christmas] [Sex in the City Movie] [Sex in the City Movie – IMDB]

 

 

 

 

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