Depression And Making It Through Christmas

By Dr. Lewis James Jordan PhD, LMHC, NCC

 

Most of us are inundated with Christmas and all that it is meant to be. If you are one of the millions of people who are feeling lonely due to strained relationships with your family, lack of family and friends, lost loved ones, or maybe money troubles, this can become and overwhelming time.

Depression and sadness can set in, leading to isolation and a feeling of hopelessness. Every year at this time suicide rates go up for those who feel separated from the holiday cheer or have bad memories attached to the holiday season.  Moving past these feelings of isolation, fear, and even sadness can feel challenging.  Here are some tips that may help you through the holiday season if you’re having issues with depression.

 

ACCEPT YOUR FEELINGS – The first step to being able to change what you are feeling is to accept it. It is okay to feel depressed or sad if you recently lost a loved one, had a divorce, break up or children are grown and have moved away.  Do not judge yourself or make yourself wrong for having these feelings.  Understand these are feelings that need to be processed through and will eventually pass.  This is what you are feeling now, based on a thought or a belief.  Thoughts and beliefs will shift.

 

BE REALISTIC – For millions of people Christmas is just another day. It does not have to be perfect or even celebrated the same way as everyone else.  Realize that many people feel the same way that you do and may have negative feelings or thoughts associated with Christmas.  You are not alone and that means there is nothing wrong with you.  It just means that the feelings you are having are shared with many others too.

 

CREATE AN ACTION PLAN – Think of things that you can do to distract yourself from negative feelings, thoughts or memories.  Make a list of things that would distract you in a positive way and shift your feeling state in that moment to a better one.  For instance, a list of funny movies, activities you love to do, friends or people who you want to catch up with and talk to additionally having an attitude of gratitude is a wonderful way to shift our attention from what we feel is lacking to what we have an abundance of.  Volunteering at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen, nursing home or hospital.  There is nothing like helping people who you feel are less fortunate than you.  Realize how fortunate you are.  Further, having a feeling of accomplishment, purpose or the ability to help another person can motivate us to feel needed and give us a sense of direction.

 

GET PROFESSIONAL HELP IF YOU NEED IT – If all else fails, reach out to either a mental health professional, counselor, or clergy member that can help you cope and understand your feelings better.  Every day we create our experiences. Our thoughts shape our lives. If these are new concepts for you, seek out a professional who can help you apply these tools to your life.  We create our own happiness and as we learn to take more responsibility, we have the power to make the changes that we say we want.

 

Blessings to you, 

Dr. Lewis James Jordan

Image: Simon Howden/ freedigitalphoto.net

 

Dr. Lewis Jordan has over 20 years experience in psychotherapy, counseling, education and public speaking. Dr. Lewis Jordan’s Psychotherapy ServicesFlorida therapy offices for Therapy & Neurofeedback Services are located in various locations throughout South Florida as well as offices in New York City and South Carolina.  Please click here for Dr. Lewis Jordan’s current Educational Videos

Please visit this site regularly http://www.JordanTherapy.com and http://www.LewisJamesJordan.com for more information and updates.  

Blessings to you.

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