The holiday season can be stressful, with all the presents to buy, fiestas navideñas to attend, and familia members to please. And with so much stress comes the risk of depression, especially for people who suffer from a seasonal affective disorder or a mental health illness that may be triggered by the changing seasons or emotional stressors around this time of year.
There Are Too Many Things to Do
The holiday season is a time of year when we have to take on a lot of tasks and responsibilities. There are just too many things to do, whether it’s buying regalos, making tamales, or doing some last-minute Christmas shopping.
And if you’re not careful, it can lead to feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. The holidays are also a time when our emotions may feel heightened. El tiempo with familia and friends get us all in the mood for fun and celebrations. But sometimes, those feelings can turn sour as the stress takes over. All that pressure might make us sad, depressed, or ansiosas without even realizing what’s happening.
Pressures From Society
We’re constantly told that we should be happy and have a joyful time with our families. Although this time of year is supposed to be joyous, many pressures from society make it a difficult time for some. With the pressure to have a joyful time during the holidays, we can forget about all the stressors in life and focus on spending quality time with family.
But what happens when it feels like your family doesn’t want you around? What if you don’t want to spend money on gifts or see rude people?
The holidays are meant to be a time of joy and happiness, but for many, they cause feelings of sadness, depression, and loneliness.
If you find yourself feeling this way this holiday season, consider these reasons why:
- Family expectations: There is pressure to have the perfect family photo, cook the perfect meal, or give the best gift.
- Social expectations: There is pressure to go out with amistades every night and attend posadas and Christmas parties. But it’s not always fun to be around people when you’re feeling low.
- Lack of sunlight: Some people can feel more depressed due to a lack of sun exposure during winter.
- Grief: For those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, Navidad and other special holidays can be quite painful and sad.
Being Away From Our Own Families
Some people go home for the holidays, but many stay in their homes with loved ones. This can be hard on some people who miss their familias They might feel lonely, sad, or worried about being around alcohol and drugs.
Some get into a routine of binge drinking during the holiday season to try to cope with this loneliness and depression.
Other people might not have anyone they want to spend time with and feel disappointed when their friends don’t include them in social plans.
Melancholy Feeling In The Air
During the holidays, we may see snow or trees and lights. But it’s not all felicidad and cheer. There is a feeling of melancholy in the air, which can lead to depression for some people. It’s important to know this and be prepared for it.
If you’re feeling down or depressed during the holiday season, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you get through this tough time!
The holiday season can be wonderful as we spend time with seres queridos, enjoy seasonal treats, and relax while watching some of our favorite holiday movies or specials. However, if you suffer from depression and are prone to the winter blues, you may find the holiday season isn’t that fun. While we shouldn’t be ashamed of having depression, there are ways to work around feeling depressed during the holiday season and enjoy the festivities with friends and family.
Dr. Patty Jiménez is the Founder of Recetas. She obtained 2 Masters in Theology and Ministry and a Doctorate in Ministry specializing in Latinx theology and ministry. She has over 27 years experience in Catholic Ministry and is a spiritual director and training as a wellness coach.