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5 Changes My Depression Prompted Me to Make This Christmas

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I’m not really feeling Christmas this year. Usually by mid-November, we have most of our Christmas shopping completed, and at the beginning of December, I have all our decorations up including the tree. This year, I admitted to my husband that my depression has really taken hold, and I am struggling to get through the season. With that in mind, we decided to get serious about not exacerbating my depression.

So we did the following:

1. We let our boys put up and decorate the tree.

I sat on the couch and handed them the decorations. The placement was all up to them. It felt good to spend family time without me having to get the tree to look “just right.” It’s all off balance with bunches of decorations and holes of emptiness, but my boys did it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

2. I’m not doing any baking this year.

I used to spend several nights in a row making homemade treats for everyone. I admit it felt good when people would sample them and proclaim how good they tasted. This year, I couldn’t even bring myself to buy flour when we ran out just in case I felt compelled to pick up a bowl and wooden spoon.

3. I shopped online.

I usually like to see and feel things before I buy them, and I haven’t done a lot of online shopping. This year, I couldn’t bring myself to get out there in the crowds. So my dear husband started shopping online. I followed suit, and within the week, we had all of our presents bought and shipped directly to us. The ease in doing things this way will probably make it an annual event.

4. I shopped for only close family members.

I didn’t buy for teachers, therapists, the hairdresser or the neighbor. I bought just for our family, and it felt good to not be inundated with packages that then needed to be wrapped and delivered. I can only hope the gifts are not missed. Maybe, next year I will get back to how things normally are, or maybe, this is my new normal.

5. I let go of my preconceived notions of what makes Christmas special.

It’s not about the perfect Christmas cards, treats, perfect decorations and gingerbread creation. (We graduated from houses to themes a few years ago.) It’s the family time that matters.

I’m going to take care of myself over the holidays. I’m going to stay in my PJ’s and take naps. I am going to make tasty food when I want to and resort to frozen foods when I’m just not up to creating. I’m not going anywhere or seeing anyone outside my immediate family.

Hopefully, these five things will lead me to a happy and healthy end to 2016.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: December 23, 2016
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