This time of year, between October and December is a time that a lot of people look forward to. It is a time that can bring joy, comfort, cool weather, and being close to loved ones. It is a time that can bring tradition old and new. The Holiday Season can bring a sense of togetherness, but it can also bring a sense of loss. This time of year can be stressful and lonely for some. The Holiday Season can shine a light on the loneliness some people experience, which can increase or worsen depression symptoms- which is why the holidays can be sad for some people.

Less Sunlight, More Triggers- Reasons Why the Holidays Can be Sad for Some People

In some parts of the world, the colder weather can bring less sunshine and force some people to stay indoors where some of their needs might not be being met. This time of year can also be a trigger for people suffering with substance use issues or an eating disorder. The holidays are known to attract food and alcohol and are usually present at most gatherings. 

For someone that is suffering with a mental illness this time of year can be a trigger, and for those that might not be suffering it can still be a time of sadness, anxiousness, or loneliness and give the feeling of Holiday Blues

The holidays aren’t always a happy time. It is marketed as a very happy and joyful time to spend time with family and friends and be a part of some of the happiest moments of the year. For some, yes this is true, for others the holidays can be very triggering. It can trigger what they felt when they lost a loved one and now, they won’t be here for Christmas. Or the memory of being abused as a child during this time but being on holiday break and not being able to escape. Some people may have the bad memories of their family member or friend dealing with an addiction. It can also trigger the reminder that this year is going to be tight financially and they might not be able to have a holiday meal or give gifts. It could even bring up the memory of being forgotten and having to spend Christmas alone. 

Reaching out can Mean A Lot

The holidays are supposed to be seen as a very happy time, but a lot of people go through a hard time during this time of year and have a hard time dealing with it. This is just a good reminder to check in on your friends or coworkers. They might not be going home to a cheerful home. They might not be spending the weekend with their loved ones sharing good memories and stories about their year. They might have a really hard time getting through these next few months but put a smile on anyway. They might not go to the event you invited them to, but I’m sure they appreciated the thought. They might give you a gift, but they card they wrote you was the most meaningful they could do at the time. It does not take much to check in on those around you, especially around this time. 

The holidays are supposed to be seen as very happy time, but for some people it does not turn out that way. Spreading holiday cheer is great, but it is always good to keep in mind those who did not experience the holidays the same as you did. Try not to put too much pressure on them or yourself to get them to be happy or enjoy this time, just a little nod to them that you are there, and your door is open.  Calling them a “scrooge” is probably not the best when this time could be very triggering. Be mindful during the holidays. Enjoy your time and celebrate the way you know how and hold space for those that are having just a harder time getting through this time of year. 

If you are struggling during the Holiday season, or any time of year, please contact an Atlanta Therapist today.