The Holiday Blues


Christmas is known for being the most wonderful time of the year, but cheerful isn’t how everyone feels during the holidays.

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Bright colors, decorative Christmas trees, and gifts.

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It’s all part of the holiday cheer, but Baptist Behavioral Health Care  Counselor Rebecca Kimbrough says it can also bring emotional distress.

“When we put a lot of emphasis on holidays, which we do in our society, then it brings an emotional tie. Perhaps, you grew up celebrating every holiday that there was with all of your family and there’s been changes in the way your family is and the way that your family is structured.”

Or feeling like there’s too much to do and not enough time to get it all done by Christmas.

“A lot of times, people feel the pressure to have a certain number of gifts that they give to someone, or a certain amount of money that they spend on the Christmas decorations at their home, or the number of parties they go to.”

Park Place owner Gale Stevens understands the holiday pressure.

“It’s overwhelming to put up all of these trees right after Halloween, jumping to the Christmas season, and then I have my own family, so you know, we’re trying to get ready for Christmas just like everybody else, but we’re staying open late, opening extra days, so we’re doing the best we can to accommodate.”

The store owner says overwhelmed is a common look for customers to wear this time of year.

“You can tell they want to buy what somebody wants and then in the back of their mind, they’re thinking, gosh you know, do I need to spend that kind of money?”

Worrying about money, stressing to please everyone, and dealing with the season changing.

They’re all traits of seasonal depression and a blue Christmas.

Kimbrough says it’s completely normal to feel down during the “happiest time of the year.”

“That kind of leads into other people’s expectations of us and sometimes, even our expectations of ourselves. In a situation where we’re feeling down, we have to be in-tune with our bodies and what our needs are and it is absolutely okay to say no.”

Kimbrough says if you find yourself feeling down, don’t isolate yourself, find a friend, and get out of the house.

She also suggests counseling if you feel like your symptoms are not manageable.