End Of The Year Blues

It’s that time of year, where it’s known to be “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.” For many, this is a time to enjoy being around loved ones, enjoying time off, and celebrating the past year. But, for some, this is not true. December can be a month where many people experience Anxiety or Depression. Why would someone feel hopeless, fearful, regretful, angry, or anxious this time of year? There are many reasons people feel negative emotions at the end of the year, and here are some common reasons:

  1. Significant losses this past year: From a loved one to employment, reflecting over the losses this past year can be difficult. Experiencing loss can cause feelings of regret, anger, and sadness.

  2. Not having money to buy gifts: Financial hardship can cause people to feel guilty that they cannot purchase gifts for their children, co-workers, or loved ones. Struggling with finances can cause feelings of shame or embarrassment, guilt, and worthlessness.

  3. Holiday Parties- The thought of hosting or attending parties can put pressure on many people. This type of stress can cause feelings of uncertainty, worry, and annoyance.

  4. Isolation: Some people don’t have a circle of friends or family members. The lack of support or social connection can cause feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, and sadness.

There are many reasons people might not feel so “jolly” this time of year, but that doesn’t mean that these people are hopeless. Here are some tips that could help.

  1. If you have experienced losses over the past year, take time to reflect on the things you still have. It may sound mundane but spend 3- 5 minutes thinking or listing out the things you are grateful for. Tip: Work on practicing Gratitude. If you don’t have money for gifts, think of positive things you can do. Something as simple as a kind gesture, making something for someone, or even creating a chore coupon booklet. Take time to list the positive things you have done for people. Tip: Work on improving self-esteem.

  2. If you experience anxiety from social events or the expectations and pressure of hosting, take time to relax or do something you love before the event. You can also ask yourself, “what’s the worst thing that could happen, what’s the best thing that could happen?” After you answer those two questions, ask yourself, “Is this something I can control?” If it is, you can make a plan, and if it’s not in your control, remind yourself that it’s no need to waste energy on the things you cannot control. Tip: Work on accepting the things you are not in control of.

  3. If you feel lonely this time of year, take time to ask co-workers, classmates, or family members what their plans are. If you believe that you don’t have anyone to reach out to, you can still be around people. During this time of year, many people are at the movies, malls, and restaurants. If you go to the movies alone, most people will not notice, and you still have the opportunity to be among others in a shared experience. Volunteering is also something that is needed this time of year, and giving back usually makes people feel accomplished and valued. Tip: Work on developing a support system.

  4. If you find yourself in similar situations, I hope these tips are helpful. If you think that you may need additional guidance or support, please know that I have availability this month, and I’m accepting new clients. If you are not struggling this season, that’s awesome! I ask that you be mindful and please give the gift of kindness this season, because you never know what people are going through.
Whitni Toson, MA, LPC

Whitni Toson, MA, LPC

I'm Whitni Toson, a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Texas. My purpose as a counselor is to help people get "unstuck" by taking action. In life, sometimes we view situations based on how we "feel" and how we "think," but what happens when our thoughts aren't the healthiest? What happens when we respond off of that feeling? My goal is to help you find out what's helping you get closer to your goals, and what's holding you back.

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