The festive season is an escape from reality.
Do you openly welcome the chance for some peace and quiet after the excitement, activity and chaos of the Christmas holidays or are you left feeling flat and depressed when things return to normal?
The festive season is an escape from reality. We give ourselves permission to spend more on gifts and food, we make the effort to get dressed up and socialise and we might even get a bit of time off work. For a short while we can gloss over reality with sparkly decorations or sparkly wine.
Come January we have returned to the usual routine. Some welcome a return to normal after a break, whilst others dread it. If you already feel lonely and depressed, a bumper credit card bill falling through the letterbox on a cold, dark January day, can make things seem worse than ever.
When we feel lonely and depressed we actively avoid all the things that have been proven to improve the situation. The last thing we want to do is be around other people, to head outside, to get physically active, it all seems like too much effort.
Instead we curl up on our own, with our pessimistic thoughts for company. We image everyone else out there fulfilling their New Year’s resolutions, advancing their careers, finding the perfect partner and living life to the full. In reality everyone is fighting their own battles, but that isn’t how it looks.
Life can deal us many blows including unexpected set-backs, chronic illness, the loss of our nearest and dearest or financial insecurity. Each of us responds to such events differently and for some they can become the trigger for depression. Having said this, these events aren’t the cause of depression, so it’s better to focus on positive changes rather than the reason we’ve become depressed.
If we blame a particular event or person for how we feel, we are unable to change that trigger, so we can remain in a dark, lonely place. If we recognise that we can find ways to think differently, to challenge our perceptions and to see things from an alternative perspective, we become empowered to break the spiral. With support, we can lessen the impact of what’s happened and feel better able to deal with what life has in store.
It may seem that nothing can be done, that things will always be like this, that somehow you deserve to be lonely, but things can change. If you can motivate yourself to just do one thing today, get in touch. We have the tools to help you make the small changes that can have a big impact on how you live your life.