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Shake Off That Christmas Gloom

It may seem odd to be sad at Christmas, arguably the most joyous time of the year for many. However, it can and does happen for a lot of people. If you’re reading this post, I’ll assume that you fall into this category and are hoping for a positive change in the 2017 season. I can’t guarantee you will go through the entire holiday without any despair at all, but the following tips helped me feel more grounded and they can work for you, too.

Unrealistic Expectations

Many of us are taught from childhood that Christmas celebrations are guaranteed to be the happiest time of the year. If something goes wrong, it simply must be your fault.

Life is not the same as you see in movies, and neither is Christmas. Things will go wrong, people will fight, food will turn out badly, people will give and receive awful gifts, etc. Christmas is basically everyday life with an extra glossy coat of paint and more types of unhealthy food to choose from.

Comparing is a Loser’s Game

How often do you compare your life with that of other people? How often do you feel better following those comparisons? We’ll bet the answer is not very often.

Everyone is on a different journey and at a different stage of their life, so comparisons make no sense. Some people make a point of announcing just how happy and blessed they feel this time of year…probably because they just think they should. It doesn’t mean much in the end, so don’t feel bad when your Christmas doesn’t measure up.

Keep Up Healthy Habits

Sure, it’s fine to eat and drink a bit too much this time of year. However, try to continue eating properly the rest of the time, and keep getting that daily 20-30 minutes of exercise.

Warning Signs That You Might be Experiencing Depression

Depression can strike any of us. Regardless, there is still an unfortunate stigma attached to this condition which can prevent people from seeking help. While depression is an increasingly common diagnosis, many people still adhere to the old stereotype that depression is a form of insanity. This is not correct and not fair.

Do you think you might be suffering from depression? Here are some warning signs:

Compromised Brain Functions

Do you usually pride yourself on having an excellent memory? Depression can cause both long and short-term memory to be adversely affected.

Your concentration level may also not seem as good as usual. As a result, you might feel less sure of yourself and have trouble making decisions.

Low Energy

Are you usually the type of person who can’t wait to start the day, but you are now having trouble getting out of bed? Energy levels tend to drop due to depression.

Sleep Problems

People who normally get a sound sleep may find that they now have bouts of insomnia. Conversely, they may discover that they are sleeping longer, but not feeling any more rested.

Feeling Hopeless

Are you usually optimistic about life and your career, but now no longer see the bright side? Do you find there is nothing to look forward to in life?

Eating Problems

Are you now overeating, particularly “comfort foods,” in an attempt to make yourself feel better? Or are you no longer eating enough?

Physical Pain

In addition to mental anguish, depression can actually cause instances of physical pain, such as muscle aches and even headaches.

Thoughts of Suicide

Do you ever feel so despondent that you think about killing yourself? Is it just a passing thought or have you actually come up with a plan?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please consider seeing a therapist to discuss your situation.