Under the Hood

How To Ensure Personal Growth While Celebrating The Holidays Alone

The holiday season is not spent in enjoyment of loved ones and good food by everyone, it can be stressful for people suffering from mental illnesses. Surprisingly, one-third of American adults would prefer to avoid and skip the stressful holiday season altogether, as per surveyors of the health app that goes by the name Total Brain. 

Post-holiday blues is a term that indicates overwhelming regret or disappointment that comes as a result over an upsetting incident, which happened either during the holidays or during the course of the year. 

Adam Abba-Aji, psychiatry professor at the University of Alberta, who was part of a research project on Christmas depression syndrome, explained what post-holiday blues means. "The blues don't meet the criteria where you say that this is depression, which is a pervasive, continuous feeling of sadness regardless of whatever emotions you associate it with," according to Abba-Aji.

"The post-holiday blues, which come with decreased energy or a lack of motivation, tend to go away after a few days," Abba-Aji added.  

What To Do During The Holidays If You're Lonely

Alex Clark, a researcher of psychosocial health at the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta suggested that people who want to spend time alone could volunteer to feel connected to humanity. It could help them, psychologically speaking. By helping the less fortunate, they could be swept away with feelings of gratitude.

"Though it's not usually the thing we think might help, it is often the thing that really does help," Clark explained.

“Paradoxically, people somehow think they will feel better by withdrawing, but the research actually suggests we feel better the more we're connected to other people," Clark added. 

Abba-Aji advised people with mental illness to stay away from anything that triggers them, be it a family member, a place or anything remotely associated with their triggers. He also suggested that they should spend within their means to prevent indulging in excessive alcohol or other dangerous behaviors while alone. 

About 6.1 million children have ADHD and the holiday season usually disrupts their routine, particularly sleep. Children with insufficient sleep often resort to caffeinated drinks that damages their health in the long term. Parents should see to it that they do not drink unhealthy substances.  

Post-holiday blues can also be dealt with by writing one's heart out in a journal. Writing a letter to a loved one that you may have wronged or have anything to express to could help, according to Marty Nemko, a renowned career coach who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

mental health scrabble The holidays and its aftermath may be difficult on people with mental health. Photo courtesy of Pixabay