I have dreaded the months between October and February for the last several years. It’s when it gets colder, there’s less sunlight, days get shorter, but most importantly, there are a bunch of holidays back to back. There’s Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, and then my birthday. I always felt like after that period was over, I could breathe and things would get better. It is also no surprise that my depression and relapse started during this time period.
I don’t really have a huge issue with Thanksgiving, but being in school it’s usually a long weekend filled with homework, so I can’t properly enjoy this holiday. Then there’s Halloween, which I didn’t even like as a kid because I was terrified of seeing scary costumes. Now I tend to be down on myself because I don’t often get invited Halloween parties, while I would see everyone else going to one on Facebook. And then the big one, Christmas. I did love Christmas as a kid, but now it just means that everyone around me is stressed and that all the malls are packed (that’s a big one because I love shopping). It was the worst holiday while being depressed because you’re expected to be happy when you’re feeling miserable. For New Year’s it was the same social problem as Halloween; no one would invite me anywhere and I would just be home with my family. Valentine’s Day is self-explanatory. Finally, my birthday just stressed me out since I never knew who to invite or what to do, and half the time I would end up doing nothing.
I’m happy to say that now this time period isn’t so dreaded after all. A big part of the reason is due to my boyfriend since now I do get invited to events over the holidays – don’t tell anyone, but sometimes I even get excited about them. Another solution I have to get me more excited for the season is to write down things that are coming up to look forward to or things I want to do that are specific to that time of year. For example, I wrote down dressing up for Halloween, and for winter, skating.
Right now this time period seems enjoyable. With a little change of perspective and planning, the positive in any situation can be found.
About Elena B.
Elena is a 21 year-old college student, sales associate, and volunteer living with depression and generalized & social anxiety. Formally diagnosed with social anxiety in high school, Elena has struggled with it for the majority of her life. During her first year of university she experienced high levels of anxiety and had her first major depressive episode, which was followed by another the following year. Since then she has been recovered and focuses on her recovery daily. She currently runs a tumblr blog, where she shares inspirational quotes, images, and tips to help others with their recovery. Follow Elena’s story on HMC’s Supportive Minds Blog.