The Holiday Blues

My assignment is to talk about depression, specifically the ‘holiday blues’. I am going to go in the back door on this one, so bear with me.

My 25th birthday was the worst birthday I have ever had. I had it in my head successful people had it all together by age 25. Successful 25 year olds have jobs, spouses, houses. I had none of these things. In my head, I was a failure.

Relevance? I would suspect every one of you who is down about the holidays like I was down about my birthday is operating under a whole slew of myths.

Myths in DBT parlance are stories we have come to believe simply because it seems they have always been there. We assume they are valid because they are part of us. They are the ways we think things are. Period. The end.

So what are you telling yourself about the holidays that is getting you so down? My first guess would be something to do with holidays and family, yes? The traditional meaning of family is a bunch of people related by blood. If you don’t have blood relatives surrounding you, you cannot have a holiday; right?

I don’t think so. I have no siblings and no children. I have no cousins on one side and I am estranged from cousins on the other. Some people would call that tragic. For me, forgive me if I offend, it has been liberating.

I have been able to build my ‘family’ with the people I want. I spend my time with people I enjoy. You don’t have to have blood relatives to have family.

Thanksgiving day I have a dinner engagement with a friend. (Hubby is having a tooth pulled the day before. Ouch.) Whom could you have time with? It does not have to be on the actual holiday. That is just an arbitrary date on the calendar.

This person does not even have to be an established friend. You could go to an activity you enjoy. The day after Thanksgiving the Y is having back-to-back classes. I will be there for two or three of those, along with my fitness ‘family’. We are looking forward to it. What could you plan that you can look forward to?

There are as many myths out there as there are people to entertain them. What are some of the myths you entertain? How about “I need to do everything I always have done for my family! It won’t be a holiday unless I prepare a four course meal!” or how about “we can’t  have a real holiday on a fixed income!”

CNN has an article about 4 things you can do about the holiday blues. They are pretty basic but they work:

Seek social support, exercise, don’t compare yourself to others, and reframe your thinking. There’s more about these in the CNN article.

Finally, I would not be a DBT instructor if I did not remind you of the distress tolerance skills. Refer back to ACCEPTS in the archives. It does work.

Next: Waiting for the Go

Home

 

Ratings

  • Rate this
  • Summary
Current Average Ratings
Overall quality
Avg: 0/5
Applies to topic
Avg: 0/5
Helpful to me
Avg: 0/5
The Holiday Blues
Total Avg Rating: 0.00 out of 5 with based on 0 rating(s)
Overall quality
Applies to topic
Helpful to me