• Paula Presswood

Blue Christmas: When You Find Yourself Dreading Christmas

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

Ah Christmastime, a time for family, joy, food and gifts. The most wonderful time of the year. What if though, deep down, you’re struggling. Struggling to feel joy and excitement, and instead, the thought of Christmas brings up a combination of stress, fatigue, annoyance and… dread. Are you alone in feeling this way? Nope. Not at all. Taking a moment to identify the source of your gloomy feelings may be a bigger part of the remedy for it than you realize.

1. Loneliness. This can be from estrangement from family or friends. It could be geographical if traveling to be together isn’t feasible. It could be the painful sting of the loss of a loved one. It might be the residual effects of a trauma experienced this time of year. It could even be that in your house crowded full of family, you don’t feel accepted, valued or respected.

2. Uneven task distribution. Let’s face it, in most households there is one person, (ahem, most commonly named Mom) who is juggling a massive list of festive preparations. It is easy and understandable for the joy to evaporate and the resentment to mount when you’re buried under an endless to-do list.

3. SAD. We celebrate Christmas in Canada during a dark, often sunless month. So many of us experience some level of S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) this time of year, which is typified by feelings of isolation, mood swings, loss of enjoyment in activities, anxiety, depression and/or stress. The pressure to be “on” and be the life of the party can exacerbate those symptoms.

4. Too much together time. Having a lot of people with different world views and beliefs under one roof can feel utterly chaotic and oddly claustrophobic. To add