Christmas is a time of year when everyone seems to be laughing, singing, and full of good cheer, but it can also be a sad, lonely time for many people according to the director of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary's psychotherapy department.
"It's quite common for people to have some degree of sadness," said Kristine Lund in an interview with CBC Radio host Craig Norris on The Morning Edition on Monday.
"If you don't have the perfectly decorated house, if you don't have nicely dressed children, if you don't have gifts swamping your Christmas tree, it's easy to begin to think there's something wrong with you," she said.
For those who are feeling blue at Christmas, Lund suggests the following:
Remember you're not alone
Often, when people feel sad or lonely, Lund said they begin to think that they're the only one who feels that way. She suggested that during the holiday season at least 50 per cent of people experience some degree of the Christmas blues.
Talk to someone about it
People may feel uncomfortable bringing up their sadness or loneliness in conversation, but Lund said it's important to find someone, a friend or a trusted family member, to talk to about their feelings. She said there's nothing wrong with saying, "You know, I'm not feeling that great today."
Express yourself through art
Expressing your sadness or loneliness through art can also be a helpful way to share with others what you are going through. Lund suggested painting, poetry and journaling as some possible creative outlets.
Re-create happy holiday traditions
Although it can be hard to think about happier holidays, Lund said it can be helpful to re-create traditions that were meaningful in the past, such as watching an old Christmas movie or taking a walk to see the Christmas lights.
Get out and give back
There are plenty of ways that a person can help others during the holiday season. Lund said giving back to the community, whether in a big way or a small way, is an excellent way to improve one's mood at Christmas.