Even the happiest people sometimes experience holiday blues. With so many things to juggle at once, it’s not uncommon to feel down during the “most wonderful time of the year.” Especially for those prone to depression and anxiety, November and December can be particularly difficult to navigate with a smile. What causes the holiday blues? Everybody’s different, and the triggers vary. As comedian Sarah Silverman describes depression, “it feels like it’s coming over me like a flu.” Depression can be as sudden and unexpected as any other illness. Sometimes it hits us when we least expect it – and it’s never convenient or fun.
"I can only speak from my own experience, and I would say that the depression I experienced feels like a chemical change," she said. "When it came over me, when it comes over me, it feels like it's coming over me like a flu. You ever just sit ... and you're fine and the next moment you just go, 'Oh, Jesus, I have the flu.'"However, there are some common factors you can be aware of that add unwanted stress during the holiday season:
- Unrealistic expectations
- Constant commercialization
- Visitors and family reunions
- Distance from friends or family
- Drastic changes in weather
- and more