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Christmas sadness: Why Do You Feel Bad About These Dates?

Not everyone likes Christmas parties. For some people, the arrival of these dates triggers a picture of sadness and anxiety that begins with the first nougat commercials and worsens with the Christmas carols from the supermarket loudspeaker and with the whispered phrases in French from the perfume advertisements.

There are countless classic movie scenes in which a sad character gets drunk at a bar counter surrounded by happy people celebrating Christmas or the end of the year, and it is not an uncommon situation. 

What happens is that, as in many affective problems, it seems that we are ashamed to express this discomfort. It can be a situation that happens once a year or that is repeated every December. It is not necessary to get excited about the holidays.

Christmas: (photo via getty images)

Most of us tend to agree that the Christmas experience is not the same as the one we had when we were little or when we had children to whom we wanted to transmit what we experienced at their age. 

What a difference it makes when you decorate the tree or put together the nativity scene with small children versus when you propose it to the teenager with the mustache shadow, glued to his phone or game console (the one that the kings brought him a year ago when he was adorable and allowed to cuddle…).

For this reason, I will allow myself to explain the conditions that favor the appearance of Christmas sadness and what we can do to mitigate them.

In what situations does the Christmas sadness appear?

Christmas: (photo via getty images)

The first thing we have to point out is that there are people with a depressive picture already established who may feel worse in the context of celebrations where others express joy and well-being that they do not feel. 

For this reason, those who know what is going on have to understand that these are slightly more difficult times for the depressed person and the situation should not be forced, although it is always better for the patient to try to participate, even for a few hours, in family reunions, since surely loneliness is worse. The controlled exposure technique is applied, in which one allows oneself a time of social participation to avoid isolation.

Christmas is a worse time of year. The recent death of a loved one, a separation from a partner, or financial problems makes the parties perceive a space of absence, where they miss what they no longer have. The pressure to consume, the almost obligation to give gifts, makes the person who cannot give them feel at fault. And the empty chairs of those who are not sitting at the table this year are more noticeable than on other dates.

How to manage this sadness

Christmas: (photo via getty images)

As in the case of a person suffering from chronic depression, it is always better to try to spend part of the celebrations surrounded by family and close friends, rather than alone. Those who know what is happening to us will understand that we are not the joy of the party.

People who are very consumerist and excessively concerned about their image and the opinion of others may feel special stress on these dates, trying to stand out with the best gift, the most spectacular decoration, the tastiest stuffed turkey… Likewise, those who if these types of people are made especially unbearable will have to swallow the display of superficiality and posture.

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