How can we get into the Christmas Spirit even when feeling depressed?
Do you go into the holidays feeling a little bit low, frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted or downright depressed? It’s not very easy to get into the Christmas Spirit when we’re in these kinds of spaces emotionally.
Feeling depressed in the holiday season is not uncommon.
I want you to know, first of all, you’re not alone. Second of all, if you feel like you are severely depressed, I want to emphasize how important it is to seek support and to seek help. There are resources and people out there that can help you to navigate if you’re not able to do it on your own.
This article is centered more toward those who are mildly depressed and are looking for some tips and ideas as to what they can do to feel better.
In this article, we’re going to talk about embracing the season with deeper meaning, which really helps significantly, and you’ll find out why. We’re going to talk about how we can reimagine Christmas traditions to make the whole season feel better to us. I’m going to offer some strategies that hopefully will be uplifting and allow you to reimagine how you show up as well. Ultimately, all of this is intended to help you connect more with the Christmas Spirit, even when you’re feeling depressed.
I want to acknowledge that feeling depressed during the season is common. Sometimes people feel it because they struggle to be with their family. Sometimes they feel it because they feel lonely and don’t have family or a place they want to go, or don’t spend it with others. It feels isolating.
Some people don’t like it because it’s the darkest nights of the year. It’s a time when we have the least amount of sunlight, and we’re struggling to feel driven. It’s very normal to feel some of this, but I want to share something I want you to take into consideration, and that is the idea that December, the holiday season, can also impact us simply because it’s a natural cycle.
Nature is seeming to sleep. There’s a lot going on under the surface to prepare, to purge, to correct what’s not working, and prepare for a new birth happening within you as well.
I always say in my articles, we are not part of Nature. We are nature.
Hence, there’s going to be a certain amount of these things going on for you as well. The more you can lean into the experience, and actually allow yourself to feel the feels, experience what you’re experiencing, journal about it, take time to pause, the more supported you’ll feel, and thus feel better through the season.
Embracing the Season of Advent
One of the things I love to consider as we approach the holiday season is the season of Advent.
A lot of people feel depression during the holidays and they connect it with Christmas. I’m talking about Adven as the Christian time of the four weeks prior to Christmas. I’m not talking about it from a Christian perspective in the sense that this is not just part of a religious focus. This is part of Nature’s focus. This is a preparatory time when the Spirit Seed is planted within us during the darkest nights of the year.
Advent is a season of cleansing, clearing and connecting with Nature.
I’ve completely redefined Advent in my own life and home. I encourage you to read an article that I wrote a while back on Holistic Family Winter Holiday Ideas to Nurture, Simplify & bring meaning. This talks about a lot of different ways to connect with Advent, and it’s going to apply here as I continue sharing a couple of the other ideas. You’re going to really enjoy that article (and perhaps especially the associated video version) as a way to spark ideas and understand how I also brought deeper meaning to my own Christmas and holiday season.
It’s important to embrace the preparatory time between Thanksgiving and Christmas and reimagine it, rethink the way that you show up, consider how you’re preparing yourself and embracing or leaning into this time of year rather than resisting it.
Strategies for Uplifting Your Mood
There are some practical strategic tools and practices we can do to also uplift our mood.
One of my favorites is journaling. Journaling is like no other practice that I know of that engages the whole of our being, allowing us to engage our thoughts, engage our emotions, feel into things, and also engage our actions with the physical writing on paper.
I have my Sacred Nights of Winter Journal that I put out every year. This year’s theme is Living Aligned with Nature that’s also going to be incredibly supportive. But more importantly, I get so many testimonials from people using this journal that say to me, “I don’t have the Winter blues anymore, I don’t get depressed, Christmas has so much more meaning. Now the holiday season has so much more meaning.”
That’s what I want for you. This journal is so powerful in such a beautiful way to step and turn into yourself so you’re not feeling the overwhelm of everything that’s around you or feeling isolation. It actually helps you step into the deeper meaning of the season and prepare for the new year in ways that are quite magical, which you’ll see as you check out the journal.
Reimagining Christmas Traditions
Another thing you can do to shift how you show up for Christmas and get in the Christmas Spirit, even if you’re feeling a bit depressed, is to begin to reimagine your Christmas traditions.
What I mean by that is to create them in a way that brings meaning emotionally and mentally, and even physically for you. This allows you to create traditions that suit your emotional needs instead of going against the grain of your emotional needs.
Some people get depressed during the holiday season because they don’t want to deal with the hustle and bustle. They don’t want to face the overwhelm, the struggle of holiday shopping and parties, obligations and family time. What if you reimagine what your traditions are going to be? There’s nothing that says a tradition has to be the same all the time.
You get to reinvent, recreate and reimagine your traditions.
That’s what I’m inviting you to do here. If old traditions aren’t working, what traditions can you create that actually help bring you joy?
Maybe there are certain crafts, or certain types of baking, cooking, or maybe there are certain activities that are very different from the ones you usually do. Perhaps you don’t do any activities, and you’d like to engage in some.
Reimagine the traditions. When you reimagine your Christmas traditions and create them for you, they’re going to serve your emotional, mental and physical needs well, and everything begins to change and you begin to connect with a whole different idea of the Christmas Spirit itself.
Connecting with the Christmas Spirit
What do we mean by Christmas Spirit exactly?
Christmas is typically considered a Christian holiday. However, like most Christian holidays, there were lots of indigenous people celebrating this time of year long before Christianity came along. It already meant rebirth, new life, a return of the sun, and a return of the light after the Winter Solstice.
There are so many other traditions to consider. I grew up Christian, and that has been my traditional path, but I really wanted to find more meaning to feel more connected to the season. That’s what the Christmas Spirit is all about for me. When you can tap into something deep within yourself, that feels resonant with the season, aligned with Nature, and connected. That was one of my biggest discoveries and the reason I created the Sacred Nights of Winter Journal that I mentioned before.
I hope you’ll check that out and get your copy of the journal. It will bring so much joy and connection, renew your sense of the Christmas Spirit, and begin to put you on a journey toward a whole new meaning of Christmas. A whole new understanding of how to show up for Christmas, how to be present to Christmas, and how to find joy in the Christmas Spirit, even if you’re feeling a bit depressed.
May your holiday season be filled with peace, joy and upliftment!
For a video version of, How to Get in the Christmas Spirit When Depressed, watch here: https://youtu.be/OLmabRI8mso