The stress of the holidays triggers sadness and depression for many people. This time of year is especially difficult because there’s an expectation of feeling merry and generous. People compare their emotions to what they assume others are experiencing or what they believe they’re supposed to feel, and then think that they alone fall short. They judge themselves and feel like an outsider. There are a host of things that add to stress and difficult emotions during the holidays.
Not enough money or the fear of not having enough to buy gifts leads to sadness and guilt. The stress of financial hardship during this economic downturn is often compounded by shame. When you can’t afford to celebrate, it can feel devastating.