It is a couple weeks into January as I’m writing this, and I wanted to address the holidays that have just gone by. I have always had very bad depression but even more so during the holidays. If I had to rank my holiday depression from worse to worst:
New Years 10/10, Christmas 9/10, Thanksgiving 8/10, Valentines Day 7/10, 4th of July 6/10.
Keep in mind these are just my personal rankings when it comes to negativity kicking up on holidays. However more people deal with that than you may think. I have been struggling most of my life with this unfortunately, though it has gotten a bit better these last 2 years. (Finally!) There will always be those little “quirks” if you want to call them, that are specific to each individual. Take different seasons for example, winter is when my suicidal tendencies have been at their highest. Is there much logic to that? No. It’s purely the fact that it’s cold and there’s usually a lot of snow where I live. Snow is my weakness and usually the winter plays host to the worst holidays for my depression.
Find Reasons to Be Positive
During depressive states it’s often difficult to find a way to be positive, but there is always something that can spark positivity. Sometimes we have to focus on what we can do to improve that mindset. If we continue to allow the negativity to run rampant, we soon lose all control and find ourselves in the same rut year after year. You do not need to make huge strides with this though, slow and steady wins the race. It’s not easy telling our minds to think or respond differently when we are already set on a downhill course.
We must “want” to make the change and “want” to overcome it. You will have the voice in your head constantly reminding you that you can’t. But this is why we start small. What makes you happy, or smile, or feel the least bit positive? Take those thing(s) and project them. Each year build up to including more and more of those positive aspects. It could take years depending on how you personally progress, but it’s NOT impossible. If you never try you will never know.
Don’t Make the Mistake of Comparing
Comparing your life to others, or their problems to yours is the #1 mistake. This is a major reason why we continue to get stuck in the cycle of downfalls around holidays. I spent many holidays completely alone. I made the mistake of dwelling on the thoughts that my friends or family at the time were having an amazing and positive holiday. The thought would bring tears to my eyes because I too wanted to feel “included” and “wanted” during the times of the year that were deemed significant. Granted my issues were 365 days a year problem, they were enhanced considerably on holidays.
Many years of being taught that holidays are a happy time when family and loved ones all get together and exchange gifts or share positivity, we naturally feel empty without it. How many of you have been in this position? How many of you have talked to friends on the holidays only to hear that they’re doing something exciting while you sit at home alone? The more we mentally envision it, the more broken we start to feel. Envy can quickly set in among the depression when we are always seeing how someone else has what we don’t. Do not let comparing plague your mind!
Results Take Time
Healing the mind is all about how you choose to take your steps forward. We cannot change how we feel or think overnight. It’s a series of self-conditioning and turning that negativity to positivity. It may seem like a slow crawl, but every year will progressively get better the more you work at it. We are often told we can’t even change this mindset, but I beg to differ. I am my own living proof that we are capable of overcoming distress and negativity. It’s very easy to believe we are broken when there is no such thing. We are made for this in every way. We were made to overcome, and we were made to conquer. Like any problem in life, there is always a solution. We just need to find it and apply it. Believe in yourself.