You’re not alone. Lots of people get the “downers” during the holiday season. It can be caused by many things, but feeling like “all of them” are doing great and “you” aren’t can really put a damper on what is generally thought to be a happy season.
Some describe it as a case of comparing your insides to their outsides that starts the rollercoaster going downhill.
Healthhotline.com attributes the holiday blues to “social isolation.” Some people just don’t have a wide circle of friends and it leaves them feeling disconnected and left out. If they begin to withdraw from any social interaction, symptoms of depression worsen. The stressors:
- Finances. Not enough money or the fear of not having enough to buy gifts leads to sadness and guilt. The stress of financial hardship during this economic downturn is often compounded by shame. When you can’t afford to celebrate, it can feel devastating.
- Stress. For example, there is the stress of shopping and planning family dinners when you’re already overworked and tired.
- Loneliness. A whopping 43 percent of Americans are single, and 27 percent of Americans live alone. When others are with their families, it can be very painful for those who are alone. Seventeen percent of singles are over 65, when health, age, and mobility can make it more difficult to enjoy yourself.
- Grief. Missing a deceased loved one. Seniors have more reasons to grieve.
- Estrangement. When you’re not speaking to a relative, family get-togethers can usher in feelings of sadness, guilt, resentment, or inner conflict about whether to communicate.
- Divorce. If you’re newly divorced, the holidays may remind you of happier times and accentuate your grief. It’s especially difficult for adult children of divorce who have to balance seeing two sets of parents. The stress is multiplied for married children who have three or even four sets of parents to visit.
- Pleasing. Trying to please all of your relatives – deciding what to get, whom to see, and what to do – can make you feel guilty, which leads to depression.
It’s hard to get out of a rut, but pushing one’s self to be out among ‘em can help.
- Volunteer. Serving at a community soup kitchen can get you thinking you’re not as bad off as some, and helping those in need is spiritually uplifting.
- Schedule a short, inexpensive trip. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Drive across to a neighboring state and celebrate the season going through an art museum you’ve never been to or enjoying music in a new venue.
- Begin a new tradition that’s all your own. If you have bad memories of family fights during the holidays and dread the thought of putting up a Christmas tree, then pack your presents in the car, along with your family or loved ones, and book reservations at a hotel with a view and celebrate the big day in a whole new city.
- Help a neighbor with yard work. Sounds simple, but sometimes simple does the trick.
- Go for a walk. There’s healing in sun and air.
If you still need a boost to get you feeling better, GreenAcres has some ideas to jump-start the joy.
- Cindy recommends Lemon Balm—just a few drops under the tongue and in five to 10 minutes she’s lost that feeling of being overwhelmed. Nerves are calming and heart palpitations are slowing.
- She also recommends Gray Matter Batter–an essential oil that she applies liberally to her neck and shoulders during the day when she’s under stress and her muscles start to tighten.
- Matt suggests 5 HTP for emotional support. Brings serotonin to healthy levels, Matt says. Serotonin is a chemical that sends signals between your nerve cells. It is found mostly in the digestive system, although it’s also in blood platelets and throughout the central nervous system. Foods rich in Vitamin B (potatoes, chicken, kidney beans, bananas) are serotonin builders, so is sunshine.
- Barb Mainz likes JOY, one of the healing Indian herb supplements. It contains ashwagandha, a root used to treat mental and physical fatigue, nervousness, tension, anxiety, depression and mild-to-moderate mood swings.
- Bonnie is big on Plus CBD Oil for emotional support and chronic pain. She also suggests Emerald’s ENDO Bliss, that naturally supports a positive outlook and resistance to daily pressures by nurturing and nourishing the endocannabinoid system. Bonnie takes it when under stress around 5 p.m. so that by bedtime, she’s calm and off to dream land.
Any of the above can be found in all eight of our GreenAcres Markets. Plus CBD Oil and another anxiety calmer, Calm Biotic from Natural Factors are both on sale the rest of this month. Consult your GreenAcres newsletter or ask any of our supplement teams to point you in the right direction.