December 21, 2015

THE BOXING DAY BLUES | How to cope with post holiday sadness

(trigger warning - depression)

Do you feel lonely and/or sad around Christmas? You aren't alone in that. Depression rates, whether clinical or brought on by a sudden loss of any sort, sky rocket in the festive month.

Depression is a mental condition where you experience intense emotions like sadness, hopelessness and loneliness. It is made worse at this time of month usually by stress and financial worries and can  be devastating to some when the wave of depression washes over them. 
 
So with all that, I wanted to share with you some tips on how to try to keep your mood up around this festive time - after all it is the season to be jolly, right? 

1) Don't lock yourself away
When you aren't feeling too great, you tend to hide away from the world as it sometimes feels better than facing your feelings and problems. Yes, it works temporarily but in the long run, you're going to make yourself lonely and this will cause you to feel a lot worse. Try and spend time with the people you know - friends, family, even strangers down at your local crafts club, anyone! If you can't be with them physically, call them, Skype them, you have the technology to do so.

2) Accept yourself and the problem
Hiding the fact that you have depression from yourself is not a good idea. The first step to solving problems and making them better is admitting it to you. This will give you the will to get help - be it counselling or trying out medication. If you are young, doctors may be weary with trying you out on medication because of how it can affect you, but they can refer you to some excellent counsellors that they know of. 

3) Make others feel good
Making other people smile is what makes me happy. Knowing I've made someone's day because of a stupid joke I've said or from a post I wrote on here makes me feel so much better, and like I have accomplished something. Christmas is a time for giving and it doesn't always mean you have to splash out loads of money to do that. Go down to local shelters or talk to people online who are facing similar troubles and get them to smile - it honestly does make you feel better.

4) Make goals for yourself - big or small
Some days, my depression can get bad enough that I won't even get out of bed. Those are the days where I set small goals for myself. I tell myself that today is a success if I take a shower and make myself food. It may only be a small thing to you, but to me it means I can do this, I can beat my own demons and push myself to do all the things I tell myself I can do. On the good day, set yourself the big goals - write 3 blog posts, go out to friends etc. You choose what you see as small and big goals and you set them.

5) Know that this will pass
'This too shall pass' - you've probably seen this tattooed on someone, somewhere right? I see it all over Pinterest when I'm looking at tattoos. The saying is true though. The first time I was diagnosed, I thought I'd never get through depression and it was one of the scariest things I had to face. Over time though, I realised that my sadness isn't going to last forever if I can change it. I may have 'relapsed' in to depression, but I know that if I've beat it once, I will beat it again. It will pass if you want it to.

If you know anyone or you yourself suffer with depression, do know that there is others out there who will help you and are willing to listen to you and want to make you feel better. I am here, your friends are here and so is your family. If anyone feels like they don't have anyone to speak to about what you are going through, feel free to drop me an email at molmcneice@gmail.com, my inbox is always open for people who are going through difficult times.


Mollie. <3
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