As we go through life, all of us carry some sort of emotional scar with us. We carry our experiences as we grow and change, and we hold on to those things through the best and worst times. For some of us, those things are clearer. But, for a lot of us who struggle with mental illness and disorders, the things we hold on to can feel heavier because of our state of mind. For a lot of us, pain and sadness are more profound and affect us differently from someone who doesn’t struggle with what we have. We are more easily reminded of things that have happened, emotions we have felt, and the people we have lost. The holiday season is a time that can be hard for us. In media and stories around us, it is meant to be the happiest time of the year. But through our experiences or events that happen, we begin to create difficulty with this time of year. Even more, we begin to have difficulty with the time after the holidays. Despite how we may feel about the holiday season, there is a certain happiness that permeates throughout the entire time. We get time off from work, loved ones come to visit, and we get to celebrate the new year. When all of that comes to an end, we are left with a feeling of “what now?” The weather is still cold, the snow is still stuck to the roads, and all the decorations are being taken down. We say goodbye to our loved ones and go back to our normal, every day lives. Getting back to the monotony of life can be difficult to handle. 

This is when some of us may experience seasonal depression. It’s brought on by the end of the holidays and the long stretch ahead of us before springtime. We don’t really have anything to look forward to. It still gets dark early, we are still having to bundle up to go outside, and there isn’t really a day or event that we are trying to work towards. It leaves us feeling empty and it feels heavy. As we have said before, it can all come down to the small things. 

Dealing with that Post-Holiday Depression

Finding the little things that we can work for can be huge. Whether it be a birthday, a special event, or the release of a new movie you’re excited for, finding motivation can be in regards to anything. Find something that matters to you, no matter what it may be. There is no shame in finding excitement in something that helps you get out of bed. We believe that you should be allowed to freely express your excitement and passion, as long as that expression does not have a negative impact on you or anyone around you. We encourage you to feel free of judgment by finding those exciting factors that keep you going. As long as it helps you to feel okay and function, then, by all means, partake in that motivation. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and don’t confine yourself to this vicious cycle of sadness and depression. You deserve to be happy however you may choose.

As always, we also encourage you to keep talking. Lean on your support system and tell them how you are feeling. They can listen to you and help remind you that the end of the season is in sight; the depression will end. Don’t let yourself fall into isolation and always maintain an open line of communication with someone that you trust. Your loved ones will always be your greatest asset and it is never wrong to lean on them when you need to. Engaging in these conversations will also help your social life to stay active and stop you from falling into a rut where you let yourself do nothing. Doing something productive is always a better alternative when struggling with depression, and speaking with your support system can be the catalyst to let that happen. 

January and February can be incredibly difficult months to get through. Everything can feel sadder during those months. It’s the come down from the holidays, people are going back to work, and it feels like forever until you get to celebrate again. It can just feel defeating and disheartening, and, unfortunately, there’s not really anything any of us can do to change that fact. What we can do is keep our heads up and do what we know how to do to get through it. We have the mindset and support systems in place to help us get through it. After all, the darkness is never too powerful for us to shine a light through and if we have found joy before, we can do it again. 

 If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]