We have a problem here. As you know, everybody is supposed to be merry and jolly during December. It’s the only winter month that shines of a light of its own and no-one should contradict this. December is the time for snow and happiness, just as November is the time for sadness and rain. For exactly this reason, it is easier to feel quite sad during this very special month. This year, I want to take a step forward and acknowledge this reality (and write about it, as usual).
First of all, I’ll admit that yes, it happens to me as well. Feeling sad during the Christmas season is something I’ve experienced before. Not for a long time, maybe just a Sunday afternoon or a random day in December, but I am well aware of what that means. I am sure I’m not the only one who’s been through something like that. Even the bravest Christmas-enthusiast will admit they’ve felt a bit lonely during this merry and jolly time of the year. Therefore, if you are feeling lonely right now, please note you are not the only one. Admit it and you’ll actually start feeling better (and relieved).
If we now look at the causes of such inappropriate sadness, I think there’s nothing to worry about. I have the feeling we all get sad at times and that’s normal. Very normal. December is no difference: we just get sad, but because we are all supposed to be happy, we notice it more. Also, people around us tend to show their happiness more openly during the Christmas holidays, which in turn makes us feel more miserable. However, that’s just part of the whole game: people show extreme joy because the world says that’s how we are supposed to behave at this time of the year and if you happen to be a bit sad, you’ll feel unaccepted, more depressed than you really are, and socially awkward. Think about it: if you feel sad in November or January, you don’t really notice. Those are cold and rainy months so it’s fine, everybody feels lonely and depressed. But in December the society, television, ads, shop windows, your family and friends expect you to be happy. That’s why I believe we’ll notice it more (and it does hurt more) because we don’t fulfil these expectations.
This is why during this time of the year I try my best to only keep dark chocolate in the house (it’s healthier, right?). Maybe dark chocolate with orange peel, or mint, or salt flakes
I know, I may have an unusual taste. I also make sure I have some bath salts at home because a hot bath can make a difference, try it if you don’t believe me. It’s relaxing, it can last for a full hour and it’s the perfect occasion to burn a scented candle instead of using electricity. Moreover, my internet connection doesn’t work in the bathroom so I’m forced to stay away from social media and technology for a change. Try and spend one hour soaking in hot water, breathing the wonderful notes of bath salts and you’ll find your inner piece.
Something else I’ve learnt through the years is that people and that includes friends and family are busier during the run up to the holidays. They have gifts to buy, work to do, people to meet or they simply want to take a nap or go to bed early. This means that if you try to call, you’ll have more chances of them not being available. My very truthful and somehow cynical advice is not to just randomly try and call people if you are feeling sad
like I’d do during the rest of the year. It’s better to just leave a message asking for a callback or (again) a hot bath and a good novel. Your friends still love you, they are just very busy right now.
Another reason for sadness is social media binging. I find it works just the same as food: a daily intake of a few portions a day is all you need. The only exception I’ll allow is if you want to spend your day reading my blog, that’s totally fine. It’s cool to have extra time to spend on YouTube but don’t binge on those Vlogmas. If you spend too many hours watching it, you’ll feel as bad as when you spend hours eating just because it’s holidays time. Also, stop thinking these people have a better life than you do: it’s all a battle against who is posting the best content. If you are happy, you are most probably offline with someone special and a glass of wine.
Lastly, I’m not a psycologist but my advice would be to feel that sadness and live it like you live every other emotion. Lay on your bed or on the couch and simply feel sad. It may sound ridiculous but at times I think that’s all I can do. Embrace the sadness, savour it without asking yourself too many questions, as you were meditating on it. Take it all in, make it yours, will help you understand who you are and eventually will guide you towards the other end of the tunnel.
Here it is, that’s my quite superficial understanding as to why we feel sad during the Christmas holidays and how I’d deal with it. I wanted to write this blog post because I’m sure I’m not the only one and I wanted you to know that it’s fine, we can do this, I’m with you.
A virtual hug to my friends and readers!
PS: My usual Thursday post will be published on https://lifewithlilred.com/