What can you do about depression just before Christmas and the New Year?

Dec 18 2011 Published by under Action, Attitude, Hope

The year is almost over. Christmas is just round the corner. The festive spirit is in the air: music, decorations, gifts, parties, great food, holidays, etc.


How do you feel in the midst of these December festivities? Stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, isolated, powerless, useless, lonely and desperate, exhausted, or full of guilt and resentment?

What can you do to stop feeling that way?

You can do ‘I CAN DO’. This is the chosen attitude that despite feeling depressed, you embrace the approaching winter holidays with some planning, and most importantly, commit to do the things on your list.

So, here are an examples of ‘I CAN DO’ behaviours, as well as tasks and projects to try out this December:

  1. Put up Christmas lights, even if you don’t celebrate Christmas. While the nights are the longest right now, we all (and our family, neighbours and visitors) need all the light, colours and sparkles we can get to boost our spirits. So, no excuses.  Do it today!
  2. Wear colours. Go through your wardrobe and find some colourful clothes and accessories to wear. Forget about what suits you or what doesn’t. Choose the colours of the rainbow to offset the darkest and coldest nights of the year. You may even decide to change clothes a few times during the day depending on the activity you are doing or the mood you are in.
  3. Smile. Depression and smiling usually don’t go together. If you are saving your smiles for better times please revisit my article‘5 Great reasons to smile a lot and often’
  4. Give compliments. Giving compliments builds the connection between people. It makes them feel good. It makes them feel important. It is a simple and powerful act of generating happiness around you, even if you don’t feel happy yourself!
  5. Make festive food. Cook something special to treat yourself and/or others. Even the simplest soup prepared with love and care can bring joy and the spirit of togetherness.
  6.  Accept invitations and show up. We are now in the busiest get-together time of the year. Parties, gatherings, carol services and other festive events are in full swing. Dare yourself to accept an invitation or two and challenge yourself to actually show up despite your feelings. Just for once, ignore the excuse that ’you will only drag everyone down and it’s better to stay home’. Show up!
  7. Get in touch with people that matter to you.  This time of year is the perfect time to reconnect with people you love and like without providing a lot of explanation of why you were out of touch. Send them a card, an e-mail, message them, Facebook or Twitter them. Simple words full of genuine wishes will reignite the old bonds.


Am I expecting you to enter an instantaneous state of happiness and bliss if you follow any or all of these suggestions?

Of course not.

I do, however expect something wonderful and positive to happen to you. I bet you will be able to experience a moment during which you are actually feeling ok. It might be just a glimpse, a second, a few minutes…  It might happen just once. Or you might have a few short bursts of this newly discovered ok-ness…

Just enough to let you experience that YOU CAN DO depression-free living!

Stay strong, remain hopeful and seek inspiration!

P.S.  May I ask you to share some items on your ‘I CAN DO THIS’ list? Your ideas, creativity and imagination are extremely valuable gifts to others and are definitely worth sharing!

Photo by: 123 RF Stock Photos

3 responses so far

  • Susan says:

    I recently came across your site and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  • Wendy Love says:

    Wonderful to see you posting once again. You do have a way with words, you have a give for being succint and direct without being just blunt, and you are so positive! Would love to hear from you sometime. Wondered where you have been?
    I wish I could share something to add to your “I can do this” list, but still when Christmas is all over, which it is today, all I say is “I don’t want to do this”. However, having said that I have already started a list for how to do things differently next year.

    • Kat says:

      Hi Wendy,

      Great to hear your comment. Thank you for your kind words.

      Christmas can be very stressful, overwhelming and emotional. Or it can be very stressful, lonely and emotional.

      Depression is a very strong emotion. Christmas (or any other celebration or holiday) can be very emotional. Put the two together and … you need a lot of planning, help and support to go through it.

      You are so wise to start a list for how to do it better next year. Just keep all the things that are great this year on this list too.

      Thank you, Wendy!



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