Depression

There’s No Right or Wrong Way to Feel During the Holidays

There's No Right or Wrong Way to Feel During the Holidays | Libero Magazine
There is no right and wrong way to feel during the holidays. The holidays are still hard. However, recovery taught me being intentional about self-care makes them easier.

Before you start reading...

Please Support our Nonprofit Magazine!

There has never been a time when our community and content was needed more. As a nonprofit online community and magazine, we provide FREE articles, videos, and other content that is available worldwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Due to the global pandemic, we’ve had to put events, collaborations and business sponsorships on hold, leaving us to rely exclusively on online donations from our community (aka YOU!) We want to be here to support you all through this pandemic and beyond, which is why we are asking you to consider donating whatever you are able. A single (or monthly) donation of just $5 will make a difference and will help keep our nonprofit running so we can continue supporting you and others.
$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $5 One Time


Every year around mid-November, I start to become filled with heaviness and dread due to the inevitable coming of the holidays.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not Scrooge (although I hate parts of the holidays). I love the meaning of Christmas, I love giving to others, and I love spending time with my family and friends. However, the holidays in combination with my depression suck the life out of me every year and that tends to overshadow all of the good.

This is the hardest thing about Christmastime for me–being in a time of joy, hope, and love, but only feeling empty and numb. Often this leads to my feeling guilty about my lack of ‘Christmas spirit,’ which only compounds the misery and depression I feel.

For years, I tried to combat this depression by reminding myself of all I have to be grateful for during the holidays.

I am grateful to be with my family, even if it exhausts me. I am grateful to be able to give to others, even if the act of giving depletes me. I am grateful for Christmas and the birth of Jesus, even if my depression causes me to not care. And for years, I have felt more guilt because reciting all I had to be grateful for did not make me feel grateful or joyful or anything.

Through my recovery journey, I have learned whatever I am feeling, regardless of external circumstances or the time of year or how much I have to be thankful for, is acceptable and valid. Even though I am not always filled with joy and peace and gratitude and whatever else I ‘should’ be feeling at Christmas, it is okay.

Giving to Myself During the Holidays | Libero


Are you enjoying this article? We are a nonprofit and rely on donations to run our magazine and community. If you are enjoying this article, would you consider making a $2 donation?

Give $2 towards this Article

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $2


There is no right and wrong way to feel during the holidays. I learned to remind myself of this a lot.

But none of this makes the holiday season any easier for me to handle. The holidays are still hard. However, recovery taught me being intentional about self-care makes them easier.

At first, I had a hard time convincing myself I deserved to take extra time for myself during a season when I ‘should’ be giving endlessly. I was afraid of appearing selfish or less than the ideal Christian during Christmas, but I have learned not engaging in self-care makes me less able to give to and be with others.

I cannot constantly be pouring from my cup into the cups of others without taking the time to refill my own. If I am to give to others in any form during the holidays, it is essential I also give to myself through self-care.

First and foremost, self-care involves sticking to as much of a routine as I can during the holiday chaos.

This means keeping a regular sleep schedule, making sure I eat balanced and regular meals, and doing as much as I can to keep the days leading up to a hectic day as normal as possible. Little things like getting adequate sleep and feeding my body regularly (and not skipping a meal to save up for a big Christmas dinner or holiday party) can make a huge difference in my mood.

Secondly, I try to take time for myself as much as I can, in whatever form I can.

My parents, brother, and I travel a lot during the holidays since both sides of my family live out of state, so once I’m visiting with family, it can seem like I am never alone. For an introvert like me, this is especially draining, so I try to get time to myself by taking walks in the snow, offering to watch the very tiny humans, finding an empty (or at least quiet!) room, and writing or reading for a while.

Sometimes, though, this alone time is not possible. My dad’s family is very large, which means there sometimes aren’t places where I can be alone because of the number of people. Or if my parents and I are staying overnight in a hotel, people, either my family or strangers, are everywhere. It is important for me to do something soothing during these times like knitting, doing a puzzle, or if appropriate, blocking everyone out with headphones and music. If I’m at home, I try to do nice things for myself like take a bubble bath, paint my nails, watch a movie, or whatever feels like it would help restore me and ease my depression.

Lastly, another vital part of self-care during the holidays is to honor my limitations.

This involves saying ‘no’ if I think something is going to be too much for me emotionally, physically, or mentally. Sometimes this is staying home from Christmas carolling, sometimes this is not going to play in the snow with my cousins. Other times it is leaving a party early or not going at all. I have a finite amount of energy during the holidays, so I have to respect that and not push myself too far.

During the holidays, I can get so caught up in taking care of others by giving that I forget I also need to give to myself through self-care. The times when I am not engaging in self-care are always the times when my depression overwhelms and consumes me, and since the holidays make me more vulnerable to depression, I’ve learned self-care is all the more essential in order for me to maintain my recovery.

Christmastime is the season of giving. What better gift to give than one of life and recovery?

Tweet this post:

If you enjoyed this article, please donate $2

As a nonprofit, we rely on donations to keep our magazine and community running. There has never been a time when our community and content was needed more. As a nonprofit online community and magazine, we provide FREE articles, videos, and other content that is available worldwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Due to the global pandemic, we’ve had to put events, collaborations and business sponsorships on hold, leaving us to rely exclusively on online donations from our community (aka YOU!) We want to be here to support you all through this pandemic and beyond, which is why we are asking you to consider donating whatever you are able. A single (or monthly) donation of just $2 will make a difference and will help keep our nonprofit running so we can continue supporting you and others. If you enjoyed this article, please consider donating:
$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $2


Sarah currently resides in Washington D.C. and is a MA psychology student researching eating disorders and body image. After struggling with her own mental health difficulties, Sarah is a huge advocate for mental health. She believes that recovery and healing are possible for everyone and hopes to help others achieve recovery through her work. In her free time, you can find her watching Netflix, drinking coffee, or studying. Sarah blogs sometimes over at sarahvandeweert.com.

Report ad as harmful | Ad Policy Don't Like Seeing Ads? We are a nonprofit and ads are one way we raise money to keep our site and projects going. If you don't like to see ads on our site, signup for monthly donations and help us fully fund ourselves through donations!
The opinions and information shared in this article may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process.

Subscribe

Become a patron!

Support Libero for $5 a Month

2 of 20 donors
$ 5
Monthly
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $5 Monthly

What are you ‘Free from’?

Micaela: Free from Shame | Libero Magazine 1

Report ad as harmful | Ad Policy

Don't Like Seeing Ads? We are a nonprofit and ads are one way we raise money to keep our site and projects going. If you don't like to see ads on our site, signup for monthly donations and help us fully fund ourselves through donations!

Do you blog about mental health?

SITE DISCLAIMER

The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.

Report ad as harmful | Ad Policy

Don't Like Seeing Ads? We are a nonprofit and ads are one way we raise money to keep our site and projects going. If you don't like to see ads on our site, signup for monthly donations and help us fully fund ourselves through donations!

Follow us on Instagram!

Instagram has returned empty data. Please authorize your Instagram account in the plugin settings .
Micaela: Free from Shame | Libero Magazine 1 Send us your story! [click here] or post your “Free from___” photo on Instagram and tag us: @liberomagazine!