While Christmas invokes joy and cheer for the most part, it can also prove to be a depressing time for some.
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for many, but turns out, it is not the same for everyone. There are people who are vulnerable to the festival blues.
“People have started migrating and staying alone,” says Khyati Birla, a life solutions strategist, adding, “You may be working alone, having work stress, and trying to achieve your goals but you find yourself alone this festive season. Or say you were in a relationship and are now suddenly alone — if you broke up, have been dumped, rejected, had a huge argument that seems unresolvable or the person has passed away — you tend to feel lonely because the festive season is generally about spending time with family.”
“Family bonding during the festival is not what it used to be. Everything has gone online and when all they get is a Skype call or WhatsApp message, it feels very mechanical to elders. Earlier, efforts would be made to share greeting cards and gifts by post, which they miss now,” says Dr Bharath Kumar Reddy, consultant psychiatrist, Apollo Hospitals. He adds, “One needs to make them feel important. Isolation and abandonment make them depressed. For the new generation, it is mostly just a get-together and not a festival.”
Dr Bharath also explains that some do not enjoy the festivities as they view Christmas as a financial burden, coming as it does close to the end of the month.
He adds, “The way they celebrate has also changed. It is not so colourful like before. Most of them no longer bake a cake at home either. Perhaps the younger generation is not so attached to the traditional way of celebrating Christmas. It becomes a reclusive, isolated family affair and not a community affair. We have to maintain a balance — prioritise and give time to family, then move on to celebrate with others.”
Khyati adds that if you are competitive and want everything to be perfect, there may be added pressure on you. “If you think you are being observed by people, it will definitely put added pressure on you,” she says. On the other hand, excessive celebrations can annoy an introvert, warns Khyati. “If I am overworked and looking forward to this break and am forced to socialise as well as attend parties, I would get annoyed,” she says.
Khyati ends with a word of advice, “If you are grieving because your partner has passed away, then you should seek counselling. Christmas can be a merry time if you turn around your adversities into opportunities for growth.”