How To Get In The Christmas Spirit When Depressed?
- Renato Leandro
- 1 How to get into the Christmas spirit when you don t feel like it?
- 2 How can I make Christmas less depressing?
- 3 Why am I losing my Christmas spirit?
- 4 When should I start feeling Christmassy?
- 5 Why is grief harder at Christmas?
How to get into the Christmas spirit when you don t feel like it?
Spend time with younger family members – If you’re no longer a child and don’t have any children of your own, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the Christmas spirit. Celebrating with young cousins, nieces and nephews, or other kids in your life can make the holidays feel magical again.
Watching the pure excitement on kids’ faces as they open presents from Santa will inspire you to find that same joy. Even if you can’t be with them on Christmas Day, kids love the build up almost as much as the day itself. In the days leading up to Santa’s arrival, carve out some time to write letters to Santa, make a batch of or take a tour of lights and decorations in the neighborhood.
Their genuine excitement might just rub off on you, too.
How can I make Christmas less depressing?
What can someone with depression do during the holidays to take care of themselves? – There are many ways to take care of your mental well-being during the holidays. Some of these strategies may work better for you than others. But be sure to try a few to find what works best and makes a difference in how you’re feeling.
Make sure your expectations are realistic. Ask yourself if you’re expecting too much from yourself. Or perhaps whether you’re expecting too much from someone else. Then, see how those expectations are making you feel. Are they helpful or stressful? Practice saying ‘no’. You’re one person, and there’s only so much you can do in a given day or a given holiday. Remind yourself that it’s okay to say no. Limit external sources of holiday pressure. Maybe take a break from social media if seeing other people’s holiday photos is causing you to engage in self-comparison. Find winter activities to enjoy (either solo or with others) that aren’t associated with the holidays – like snowshoeing, for example. Don’t slack on self-care. If going to yoga helps you cope with stress, keep doing that. If spending time with friends or family helps, connect with them often. Take time for yourself and be open to experimenting with new self-care strategies. Talk to a mental health professional. Talk therapy can help you cope with stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression. And if you’re dealing with holiday-related stress or season affective disorder, your therapist may also recommend light box therapy, medication or helpful lifestyle changes to help alleviate some of your symptoms.
Why am I not feeling Christmassy?
When 23-year-old Olivia Davis spent the afternoon walking through a Christmas market in Newcastle, she expected to feel it. Lauren Toby, 22, thought she’d be overcome with the sensation when watching a Christmas film with a festive-flavoured drink. Luckily, Braden Lee-Stevens, 33, managed to sense it briefly – when taking his 18-month-old nephew to meet Santa for the first time.
But then it went away. With just a few days until Christmas, none of these people are able to feel it. You know, it. ‘Christmassy’. It’s a common complaint at this time of year. Over 50 people a day have tweeted that they ‘don’t feel Christmassy every day this week, and on forums from Netmums to Reddit to Quora, people are frantically asking why they can’t feel the Christmas spirit – as though it’s a disease ready to be diagnosed.
Yet Christmassy isn’t technically an emotion. What exactly is it – and why is it that so many of us worry when we can’t ‘feel’ Christmas? ‘Feeling Christmassy is not a simple emotion but a combination,’ Patricia Riddell, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Reading’s school of psychology, tells Metro.co.uk.
Riddell explains that the happiness, surprise, awe, and love we feel at Christmas release both dopamine (the reward molecule) and oxytocin (the hormone that causes us to feel attached to people we are close to). The problem, Riddell says, is that anticipation can lead to disappointment. ‘Our brain does not assess how happy we are but the difference between how happy we expected to be and how happy we actually are,’ she explains.
By over-anticipating Christmas, we raise our expectations of happiness and therefore feel less happy than we expected. Riddell also says that ‘when we make sense of events, we lose the emotional intensity’ – a point echoed by Krystine Batcho, a psychology professor at Le Moyne College, who invented the Nostalgia Inventory Test, a measure for how deeply people feel nostalgic.
- Based on our childhood experiences, Christmas has acquired unrealistic expectations of mythical ideas,’ says Krystine, explaining that childhood myths about Santa and magic allowed us to suspend reality at Christmastime.
- As adults, we know we can never again enjoy those wondrous feelings and beliefs It isn’t surprising, then, that many people are disappointed when they don’t experience the fulfillment of the promise of Christmas.’ Batcho notes that many of us try to do Christmas activities to get in the holiday spirit – like Olivia’s market, Lauren’s drink, and Bradley’s trip to Santa.
Anyone with a love of The Muppets knows that it’s in the singing of the street corner choir (and going home and getting warm by the fire), but why might doing Christmas activities not actually prompt that special Christmassy feeling? ‘Often, doing something that seemed so amazing when we were a child is a bit disappointing when we do it as an adult,’ Batcho says. (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk) ‘Also, as adults we’re often feeling stressed as we try to meet all the demands of our regular lives and the additional obligations of doing all the holiday activities. What was once a joyful experience can now be felt as burdensome.’ It is certainly easier, as we age, to feel the burden of Christmas.
Olivia, from South Shields, says she normally feels like December is ‘a different month’ from the rest of the year because she enjoys ‘the magic of it’. But a recent breakup with her partner of seven years means this year is more difficult. ‘It’s so, so hard to recapture the magic,’ she tells us. ‘It’s different as a child, you can enjoy it for what it is you don’t have the stress of buying presents and money catching up with you in months to come.’ Callum Griffin, a 22-year-old from Exeter, says that work means he hasn’t had time to do his usual Christmas traditions.
He complains of not feeling as ‘festive’ as he ‘should’. ‘I was definitely more excited in previous years,’ he says. But was he? Brian Hughes, a professor of psychology at NUI Galway, who has written in the past about the psychological impact of Christmas, says that last Christmas might not have been as great as you think.
It is helpful to recall that today’s underwhelming banalities will eventually be filtered from our memories, and in the future we will look back nostalgically on 2018 with a sense of mystical yuletide wonder,’ he says. Hughes explains that we respond to our memories with emotions, and physiologically feel the sensations of the past – be they excitement or sadness.
Yet the distortions of nostalgia mean we only remember extreme emotions, so this re-experienced memory is biased and thus somewhat ‘false’. ‘We filter out the mundanity,’ he explains. ‘In that sense, it is good for us to step back and realise the selective nature of our memories, and to not feel too sad when we compare the past to the present.’ Of course that doesn’t mean we should give up trying to feel Christmassy or that feeling the spirit of Christmas is a myth.
- Hughes explains that instead we need to put less pressure on ourselves and be psychologically flexible.
- Christmas is highly visible and almost unavoidable, so people tend to develop structured ideas, or schemas of what Christmas should and should not involve,’ he explains.
- People tend to visualise an idealised version of Christmas the ideal and the actual seldom coincide.
‘This is why, in psychology, we encourage people to be adaptable and flexible. Feeling that you must conform to a detailed, idealised template of Christmas makes everything very pressurised.’ You might actually feel more Christmassy, then, if you give up the gingerbread-making session and just relax.
Batcho thinks we ‘can’t ever’ recapture the same pure Christmas feelings we had as children. ‘We now know too much,’ she says. ‘We know the difference between fantasy and reality and can only hope to feel similar sensations’. Yet although we cannot feel identical sensations, the psychologist says we can feel new ones.
‘Although they’re not exactly identical, they can in some ways be richer,’ she says, ‘As we are now the ones ‘making Christmas’ for others – especially children.’ MORE : Conversation envy: Why does it always feel like you’re missing out on the better conversation? MORE : Why you should never give your dog a mince pie MORE : Please enjoy this story of a woman demanding cash because her secret Santa gift was too cheap Sign up to our guide to what’s on in London, trusted reviews, brilliant offers and competitions.
Why am I losing my Christmas spirit?
What happens if you can’t find it? – Christmas spirit disappears for all kinds of reasons: loss, separation, betrayal, grief, health problems. But for whatever reason, this year you’re identifying more with the Grinch than Cindy Lou Who. It’s OK. I’m writing this because I’m pretty sure my heart is two sizes too small this year.
Why is Christmas sad for me?
Loneliness. Not having people around us can feel more difficult at Christmas when there are lots of images of families and friends together. Even when we have a lot of people around, we might still feel lonely. This might be because we feel like we have to hide our feelings, or act differently around some people.
Is it OK to not be in the Christmas spirit?
So if you’re struggling to feel festive this Christmas, try not to beat yourself up about it. Not feeling merry, positive and upbeat isn’t some kind of failure – it’s a completely normal response to the circumstances we’ve faced over the last nine months.
What if I don’t seem to feel the spirit?
What If I Don’t Seem to Feel the Spirit? Digital Only Consider these three ideas to learn more about how the Spirit speaks to you. After we are baptized, we are confirmed as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are invited to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by one who holds priesthood authority. This gift gives us the right to the Holy Ghost’s constant companionship so long as we keep the commandments.
- Our connection to the Holy Ghost helps us follow President Russell M.
- Nelson’s invitation to “Hear Him.” As President Nelson counseled, “It has never been more imperative to know how the Spirit speaks to you than right now.” What can we do if we think we can’t or don’t feel the Spirit? Here are a few of many possibilities.
When we are trying to feel the Spirit, it’s important that we start with an understanding of who the Holy Ghost is and how He speaks to us. Each person may receive revelation in different ways; for example, some people more commonly feel warmth while others more often feel peace.
Such promptings and feelings can come to each of us in various ways at different times. Think back on previous times when you felt the Holy Ghost. Consider writing down what you felt during those times. Doing so may help you see how the Spirit speaks to you and help you recognize when you feel that way now—which is evidence of the Holy Ghost in your life.
Here is a sampling of what several prophets and apostles have taught about the nature of the Holy Ghost:
- President Nelson: “In the Godhead, the Holy Ghost is the messenger. He will bring thoughts to your mind which the Father and Son want you to receive. He is the Comforter. He will bring a feeling of peace to your heart. He testifies of truth and will confirm what is true as you hear and read the word of the Lord.”
- President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “To always have the Spirit with us is to have the guidance and direction of the Holy Ghost in our daily lives. We can, for instance, be warned by the Spirit to resist the temptation to do evil. If we partake of the sacrament in faith, the Holy Ghost will then be able to protect us and those we love from the temptations that come with increasing intensity and frequency. The companionship of the Holy Ghost makes what is good more attractive and temptation less compelling. That alone should be enough to make us determined to qualify for the Spirit to be with us always. Just as the Holy Ghost strengthens us against evil, He also gives us the power to discern truth from falsehood.”
- Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead; He is a personage of spirit and bears witness of all truth. In the scriptures the Holy Ghost is referred to as the Comforter (see ; ), a teacher (see ; ), and a revelator (see ). Revelations from the Father and the Son are conveyed through the Holy Ghost. He is the messenger for and the witness of the Father and the Son.”
- Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Remember the Lord’s promise: ‘I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy’ (). I love that assurance. Joy that fills our souls brings with it an eternal perspective in contrast to day-to-day living. That joy comes as peace amidst hardship or heartache. It provides comfort and courage, unfolds the truths of the gospel, and expands our love for the Lord and all God’s children.”
- Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Three revealed truths that bring us to a knowledge of the Holy Ghost are that the Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, and the gift of the Holy Ghost comes by the laying on of hands. Three answers to the question ‘How does the Holy Ghost help you?’ Holy Ghost warns, the Holy Ghost comforts, and the Holy Ghost testifies.”
- President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015): “These very delicate, fine spiritual communications are not seen with our eyes nor heard with our ears; it is a voice that one feels more than hears. The voice of the Spirit is described in the scriptures as being neither loud nor harsh, not a voice of thunder, neither a voice of great tumultuous noise, but rather as still and small, of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it can pierce even the very soul and cause the heart to burn.
You can learn more about how the Holy Ghost speaks in the “Holy Ghost” topic entries in and, Consider: How have I felt the Holy Ghost speak to me? Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is inseparably connected with our baptismal covenant, and covenants require effort on our part to receive the promised blessings.
We are reminded of what we’ve promised to do and what we’re promised in return each week as we partake of the sacrament: we promise to take upon us the name of Christ, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments, and we are promised to always have His Spirit with us as we do so (see ). To receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, we must do our part.
Consider this counsel from Church leaders as a start:
- President Nelson: “As we seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ, our efforts to hear Him need to be ever more intentional. It takes conscious and consistent effort to fill our daily lives with His words, His teachings, His truths.”
- President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency: “The need to keep our personal temple clean in order to have the companionship and guidance of the Holy Ghost explains the importance of the commandment to partake of the sacrament on the Sabbath. The renewal of our covenants by partaking of the sacrament should also be preceded by repentance, so we come to that sacred ordinance with a broken heart and a contrite spirit (see ; ; ). Then, as we renew our baptismal covenants and affirm that we will ‘always remember him’ (), the Lord will renew the promised remission of our sins, under the conditions and at the time he chooses. One of the primary purposes and effects of this renewal of covenants and cleansing from sin is ‘that may always have his Spirit to be with ‘ ().”
- President Eyring: “For many reasons, we need the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. We desire it, yet we know from experience that it is not easy to maintain. We each think, say, and do things in our daily lives that can offend the Spirit. The Lord taught us that the Holy Ghost will be our constant companion when our hearts are full of charity and when virtue garnishes our thoughts unceasingly (see ). When you demonstrate your willingness to obey, the Spirit will send you more impressions of what God would have you do for Him. As you obey, the impressions from the Spirit will come more frequently, becoming closer and closer to constant companionship. Your power to choose the right will increase.”
- Elder Stevenson: “It is vital to our physical and spiritual safety that we keep the gift of the Holy Ghost. We begin to do so by striving to keep the commandments, having individual and family prayers, reading the scriptures, and seeking loving and forgiving relationships with family and loved ones. We should keep our thoughts, actions, and language virtuous. We should worship our Heavenly Father in our homes, at church, and, whenever possible, in the holy temple. Stay close to the Sprit, and the Spirit will stay close to you.”
- Elder Richard G. Scott (1928–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Our Father expects you to learn how to obtain divine help by exercising faith in Him and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on Them. They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit.”
Consider: What can I do to more fully honor my covenants with God? Even when we are living worthy of the Holy Ghost and doing what the Lord asks of us, in the depths of depression and similar mental health trials, we may still find it especially difficult to feel the Holy Ghost.
“An inability to feel the Spirit, or a general feeling of apathy or numbness, is often a symptom of poor mental health. God has not forsaken you.” If mental health might be limiting our ability to feel the Spirit, we can counsel with trusted loved ones, Church leaders, and mental health professionals; remember experiences when we have felt the Spirit in the past; and make our homes into places of peace where the Spirit can dwell.
When we struggle to feel the Spirit, or to feel anything at all, we can have faith in Heavenly Father’s love for us. We can trust the Savior’s promise, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (). And we can continue to pray for the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, to bring us peace in the future.
- We can also remember that God has given us many other means to help us feel of His love.
- As Elder Jeffrey R.
- Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “Because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so.
- His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends.
All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are.” When we are having a hard time feeling the Spirit, we can trust and lean on those truths.
Consider: Who can I counsel with about my feelings? How else can I recognize God’s love and blessings in my life while I wait to feel the Spirit again? The Gift of the Holy Ghost “Our Father in Heaven knew that in mortality we would face challenges, tribulation, and turmoil; He knew we would wrestle with questions, disappointments, temptations, and weaknesses.
To give us mortal strength and divine guidance, He provided the Holy Spirit, another name for the Holy Ghost. “The Holy Ghost binds us to the Lord. By divine assignment, He inspires, testifies, teaches, and prompts us to walk in the light of the Lord. We have the sacred responsibility to learn to recognize His influence in our lives and respond.” Notes
- Russell M. Nelson, “,” Liahona, May 2020, 88.
- Russell M. Nelson, “,” 90.
- Russell M. Nelson, “,” 90.
- Henry B. Eyring, “,” Liahona, Nov.2015, 104.
- David A. Bednar, “,” Liahona, Nov.2010, 94.
- Ronald A. Rasband, “,” Liahona, May 2017, 93.
- Gary E. Stevenson, “,” Liahona, May 2017, 120.
- Boyd K. Packer, “,” New Era, Feb.2010, 3.
- Russell M. Nelson, “,” 89.
- Dallin H. Oaks, “‘,'” Ensign, Nov.1996, 59
- Henry B. Eyring, “,” 105.
- Gary E. Stevenson, “,” 120.
- Richard G. Scott, “,” Liahona, Nov.2009, 7.
- “” Mental Health: Help for Me, ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
- These ideas are summarized from “” Mental Health: Help for Me, ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
- Jeffrey R. Holland, “,” Liahona, May 2009, 88.
: What If I Don’t Seem to Feel the Spirit?
When should I start feeling Christmassy?
When does the ‘festive feeling’ really start to kick in? Survey of 2,000 people for the Post Office has revealed we only get into Christmas spirit from 7pm on Christmas Eve Are you feeling festive yet?
- It only really begins to feel like Christmas at 7pm on December 24, according to new research.
- The poll shows that, on average, for Brits the ‘festive feeling’ kicks in early on the evening of Chistmas Eve.
- But for one in six (16 per cent) its takes until the end of to get the festive feeling, while 17 per cent actually enjoying Boxing Day more than Christmas Day itself.
- The survey of 2,000 people for the shows that when it comes to what gets us in the festive mood it is still the traditional elements that really bring some Christmas cheer.
- Decorating the Christmas tree is the favourite festive task with 38 per cent citing it as top of the list to kick-start the seasonal joy.
- The more modern seasonal traits – such as ‘Secret Santa’ or wearing a Christmas jumper – don’t live up to the classic festive traditions.
- And sipping beats kissing as more Brits prefer a festive tipple than a Christmas kiss, with one in eight (13 per cent) choosing a glass of mulled wine to get them in the seasonal mood over a smooch under the mistletoe (seven per cent).
- Read more:
- One in five (21 per cent) say receiving their first Christmas card is guaranteed to inspire that festive feeling.
- The survey also reveals that one in nine (11 per cent) begin planning for Christmas as early as the summer.
- Women are more likely to plan ahead with (18 per cent thinking about Christmas three months in advance, compared to only 10 per cent of men.
( EllenMoran) The study shows the differing activities across the country that gets us in the Christmas mood. In Belfast, hearing the first Christmas song tops the list, while for Glaswegians it’s decorating the Christmas tree. Pete Markey, chief marketing officer for the Post Office says; “It’s nice to see that it’s still the traditional things that bring us the most joy at Christmas, from getting the Christmas decorations up to receiving that first Christmas card.
- The Royal Mail’s latest recommended posting dates for First Class mail is Monday.
- For anyone sending last minute gifts and cards on December 23, Royal Mail Special Delivery Service can still get Christmas Greetings to their destination on December 24.
Why is grief harder at Christmas?
Consider old and new traditions – For many people, Christmas comes hand in hand with a number of traditions that can be linked to memories of the person you are grieving. This can leave you feeling upset, especially when you aren’t able to do these traditions in the same way.
To help you get through this difficult time, consider the traditions and what they mean for you and those around you. Maybe you want to keep to them, but don’t be afraid to change old ones or create new ones. Starting a new tradition may also help the children in your family, particularly if they’re struggling too.
It can be difficult for them to know how to act when the people they love are grieving, but finding new ways to remember the person you’re missing during this time can bring you together as a family. Examples of this include:
Buying or making your own Christmas ornament or bauble to remember those who have died. If a photograph feels too much, then perhaps use a ribbon of their favourite colour or a sentimental object. Bringing out the person’s stocking, or make one for them, so that you, your friends and family can fill it with cards, messages or letters. You can decide as a family whether you then would like to share these out-loud or keep them private. Having a small Christmas tree or memory wreath set up somewhere within your home in honour of the person who has gone. You could decorate this tree or wreath with their favourite colours, photographs, any meaningful objects or messages. Making a paper chain with a message or memory of the person you’re grieving for written on to each ‘link’. Buying a big candle in honour of them and lighting it for periods of reflection and remembrance. Making an object or cash donation to a charity you know the person you are grieving would have supported in their honour. Setting a place at the dinner table for the person who is not there or making a toast to them at the Christmas meal. Decorating their headstone or plaque on Christmas Day. Representing the person who has died through an object or symbol in your annual family Christmas photograph, if that’s something you do.
Do people get sad when Christmas is over?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 64% of people report being affected by holiday depression, and it’s most often triggered by financial, emotional, and physical stress of the season.