There are many reasons people get depressed during the holidays. The ideal of the pic above is just a pipe dream for many. We may dread the holidays because we need to get out of our shell, doing things we really don’t like doing. Like small talk with uncle Pete the misogynist or aunt Mary the gossip. We can put up with this when we are near optimal, yet it becomes an insurmountable task when we are dealing with other problems. The holiday get togethers go from being an unwanted distraction to a downright panic -inducing event.
Put on your masks and good luck.
The Beatles said that ‘happiness is a warm gun ‘. This may be a theme for people overburdened at holiday time. They think of how inferior they are to others and are afraid to face the world. What are they overburdened by? Fear. As I have mentioned in other posts, fear kills. It consumes and puts us in a bubble of constant worry and agitation.
A few years back, I was told by a friend to help him volunteer delivering food to less fortunate families for Christmas. The families were grateful and it felt good making their day. What didn’t feel good was when I went to a lady’s home. She must’ve been around 70 or so and there was nobody at her home except her. I had 3 dinners. She told me she would be alone for the night. She’d been waiting to see her family and they cancelled and her friends were not able to make it. She lived alone and would listen to carols on the radio and watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life ‘ on TV. She said she’d only have 1 dinner. Give the rest to people in need, she told me. I called my friend and told him I’d be a bit. I stayed there and we started talking about her life. She was happy I took interest in her. She had mobility problems and winters just seemed longer with each passing year. At the end of the evening, I felt I had made someone happy. That was the biggest gift I’ve gotten for Christmas.
Volunteering goes against my basic beliefs when it profits others monetarily, but volunteering to put a smile on someone’s face is the best thing you can do. And you don’t need a holiday as a reason to do it. The lady on top volunteered to go to an orphanage in Africa. That, for me, is what people who make a difference do. There is more respect in that than in any entrepreneurial undertaking because it is harder to accomplish. And the only thing we get out of it is satisfaction and hopefully some love. Actually, I’m sure we’re more loved at the end.
So you can do the whole family thing, but you can also do whatever else you think is right.
Ignore the warning sign and just keep on keeping on.
Whatever side you’re in on the depressed at Christmas continuum – and some may be on both sides – it is up to you to make it better.
Volunteer in Park Extension http://www.cabm.net/en/o/2691
Suicide Hotline http://suicideactionmontreal.org/index.php?page=home
Just type VOLUNTEER on Google and you’ll find what suits you.