Thanksgiving is the time of the holiday season when family gatherings, celebratory meals, and fun activities are at their peak. These huge family dinners often have a tradition that before starting the meal, everyone around the table shares one thing that they’re thankful for. Some of you don’t know but many people hesitate from giving the answer and completely avoid the question in some cases. The reason behind this is that those people are caught up in the unending circle of depression. Depression, anxiety, grief, sadness, and loneliness can make these times much more difficult. Everyone around you is expressing gratitude while you don’t feel thankful at all because depression tends to focus on the negativities of life.
There can be several reasons for feeling blue during the holiday season like you are away from your family, you don’t have anyone to prepare a thanksgiving meal or celebrate it with, someone close to you has recently passed away, or you are facing family disputes. All these things, alone or combined, can make you feel ungrateful and gloomy.
Despite all these circumstances, there are a couple of things you can do to minimize your stress and cope up with the holiday season in a better way.
- Recognize your feelings and give yourself time: Don’t force yourself to be happy and cheerful when you don’t feel like it. Remember that it is completely normal to feel depressed and frustrated sometimes and to even cry. Acknowledge your feelings and give yourself some time rather than forcing yourself to be happy. When you accept those feelings as they are, they go somewhere in the back of your mind for a while instead of being the center of your attention.
- Connect with others: Take some moments out of your day and call any of your family member, friend, or any other person in your life who has ever done anything kind to you. Show them your gratitude. Showing gratitude for little things makes you look on the bright side.
- Travel: Take a few days off from your daily routine to do something on your own. Visit a place alone you love- whether it is the beach, a town close by or the big city. Traveling will keep your mind occupied and it will be exciting to do some fun thing alone, on your own.
- Look back: Photos are a great way to look back on the happy moments of your life. Go through your old photo albums. You’ll feel better because of two reasons: you will find gratefulness for the moments you lived happily in your past or you may experience some gratitude in recognizing from where you started and now how far you've come in your life.
- Volunteer: The best way to feel gratitude is to help the less fortunate. Participate in a local food drive or visit a homeless shelter with some food and gifts. It will be an eye-opening experience for you and a major step towards the betterment of your well-being and the community.