7 Reasons Why Christmas Is Making You Unhappy

Photo by Steven Leonti

Why is it that Christmas usually fails to live up to our expectations? Most people plan for it months ahead with great enthusiasm, but when Christmas arrives it often leaves us cold. If you are facing the prospect of Christmas with some dread and recognize this description, read on. In this article we will discuss all the reasons why Christmas is making you unhappy.

1. Absence of sunlight

The shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, occurs near Christmas. The absence of light may trigger depression in some people. This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. However, this disorder can be treated by increasing exposure to light. The best way to do this is to go outside and take a walk while there is still light. About 30 minutes of walking can be very helpful. Usually, busy schedules of most people mean that we only have time to go outside when it’s dark. Additionally, antidepressant medication or light therapy may also help.

2. Memories of difficult times

Difficult memories, which happened in the past, could be reason why you cannot enjoy Christmas. Maybe Christmas was the occasion for arguments or maybe it’s when your father started drinking heavily. It is perfectly normal to try and forget bad memories from one’s childhood. However, avoiding thinking about the past can cause certain problems. It may be helpful to write down what you’ve experienced. Or maybe find a friend who’ll listen without judgement and interrupting. This can be a way to face the ghosts from Christmas past. If you face them, it will help put them to rest.

3. Excessive expectations or demands

Most people, especially women, have unrealistic demands placed on them at Christmas. Often, these demands are self-imposed. However, sometimes friends or family may demand too much. It is a huge expectation to have everything perfect. You should be realistic instead. Be gentle on yourself, too. Let go of unrealistic demands and aim to get a few things done. Choose 2 or 3 things that matter most to you at Christmas. You will drive yourself to misery, if you aim for a perfect Christmas. We are able to enjoy the little things, if we have realistic expectations about Christmas.

4. Arguments

Try to figure out how to manage it, if there is a gathering where you know there will be hard feelings and arguments. Perhaps you can stay clear of the two who are feuding. You shouldn’t feel the need to solve other peoples’ problems. Unless there is a good chance it will work, do not get drawn in as a peacemaker.

5. Losses

Relationships that have been broken or loved ones who have died are usually remembered at Christmas. Do not dry and push these feelings from your mind, because it will not work. It is perfectly fine to reminisce about losses.

6. Past slights

For some people, there are remembered problems which come up at Christmas. Perhaps it is the fact that a present was not appreciated or the rude way someone behaved. You will be able to start afresh, if you can let go of the problem and put it in the past.

7. Too much food and alcohol

Unfortunately, it is easy for people to overindulge with all the Christmas parties. Alcohol is a depressant, and if you are feeling low, you should avoid it as much as you can. It also interferes with your sleep. Perhaps a relative or spouse eats or drinks too much at Christmas. You should quietly and calmly discuss this with them before it happens. Eating in moderation helps your waistline, as well as your sleeping and your mood. Don’t deprive yourself of everything, because eating small amounts of Christmas goodies is perfectly fine.

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