Christmas blues: how to avoid holiday disappointment

The Christmas blues can leave many feeling underwhelmed.
The Christmas blues can make the holidays seem underwhelming. Source: PublicDomainPictures (via pixabay)
With all of the suspense and anticipation of Christmas, it is important to learn how to avoid feelings of disappointment or experiencing the Christmas blues.

By Vicky Witts | Advice Editor

The Christmas period is often a time for much excitement and celebration as we anticipate Christmas day and all the festive things that we have learned to associate with it. However, with all this suspense and anticipation can often come feelings of Christmas blues and disappointment as the day does not live up to what we wanted it to be. Learning to manage this disappointment is important therefore, to be better able to find enjoyment in the winter months.

Do not expect too much

A key reason that many people feel underwhelmed when Christmas finally arrives is that they are expecting too much from the day. Whilst the big festive gatherings that you see on tv and in the movies might happen for some people, most of us do not usually enjoy Christmas on such an extravagant scale. This may be even more noticeable this year, as coronavirus restrictions mean that many people are having to reduce the scale of their New Years Eve and Christmas celebrations.

For this reason, it is important to not expect the huge gatherings that you see on tv and instead learn to appreciate and enjoy smaller, more subdued celebrations. This does not have to mean that your celebrations must be any less enjoyable however, as you may be able to do more family focused activities such as watching festive films, playing games or just enjoying each other’s company with those that you live with, which you would not get to do at a large gathering or party.

By not expecting too much from festive events, you will both be saving yourself from disappointment and allowing yourself to be pleasantly surprised by any particularly enjoyable activities that you do.

Reflect on enjoyable moments

It can often be the days following Christmas and New Years that seem the most depressing, as we reflect on how we did not get to do all the things that we had planned to on those days. However, reflecting on these days does not have to just be in a depressing and sombre way, as thinking about positive and enjoyable moments that you experienced can allow you to learn and make the Christmas season even more exciting next year.

Find things to distract you

If you do not celebrate Christmas or have had a particularly unenjoyable festive period, it can be easy to look at other people enjoying themselves and start to feel the depressing Christmas blues about how uneventful or unenjoyable your life currently seems to be.

In order to overcome this, it may be good to find distractions so that you create positive experiences for yourself rather than dwelling on the negative aspects of the season or how you are not having the same experiences as those around you. For example, you may use December and January as a time to catch up on work, carry on with a hobby that you are particularly passionate about, or takes days off to go to different places and do different activities that you enjoy.

You could even create your own tradition, whether it is with your family, friends or just by yourself, so that you have something to look forward to every year whilst others look forward to Christmas.

View the New Year as a new start

Ultimately, it may be the case that you struggle to overcome the feelings of sadness and Christmas blues that you associate with the festive period for any variety of reasons and would prefer to completely ignore the holiday rather than try and enjoy small aspects of it. In this case it may be beneficial to view the New Year as a new start. Being optimistic and viewing the turn of the New Year as the beginning of a fresh start means that you may be able to view Christmas and the surrounding time in a more positive light, as it is just the build-up and a time for reflection before you get to begin a new year which is hopefully more positive and exciting for you.

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