In modern media, the holidays are generally depicted as a time of happiness and celebration. Entertainment outlets and companies sell the picturesque version of the perfect holiday, spent with family and friends, that they hope will evoke a warm and inviting feeling. However, a lot of people will have negative experiences around the holidays for a multitude of different reasons.
Holidays are often viewed as a time to spend with your family, where everyone is getting along. But for a lot of people, this won’t be the case. Some people may not be very close with their family, so that spending time together may feel forced or as more of a nuisance. Some may have recently lost a family member, so that this holiday season brings a hallow reminder of who isn’t around the table this year. Some may have never had family at all, so the thought or memory of spending holidays with loved ones never crosses their mind, or worse, serves as reminders of what they are missing.
Even if the above doesn’t apply to you, there are many other reasons the holidays may not always be your cup of tea. Holidays can be very stressful to many people, as they envision how to plan the perfect occasion, or maneuver around everyone’s busy schedules. This compounding stress from navigating the road to the holidays can easily lead to an overall negative experience during the holiday season.
Another separate reason altogether someone might be feeling down could be Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder is brought upon by the change of seasons, and is often experienced more in the winter months. Symptoms during the winter often include fatigue, less energy, and a greater desire to be alone. If the holidays come and go, and you still feel yourself feeling different than usual, it would be worth seeing a professional to see if you are affected by this disorder.
No matter how much the holidays may seem like they are supposed to be perfect, that won’t always be the case. The holidays can often be everything they are supposed to be, but sometimes that isn’t the reality of it. It’s okay to not have the perfect holiday, and it’s okay to not feel the warm and fuzzy feeling you might feel is expected. Most holidays aren’t like Hallmark movies. But, they can all have a happy ending if you know how to manage the ups and downs of the holiday season.