End of Year Blues: “It’s NYE, Why Am I Sad?”

The end of the year is a very festive and happening time. With festivities like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas and New Year filling up the last month, many people have a sense of joy, warmth and excitement, be it due to meeting friends and family, holidays, or just the general festive environment.

However, many people are not able to fit into that festive vibe and have troubles with their mood and emotions. This isn’t uncommon, many people go through end of year blues, which can deteriorate into depression if the conditions around the individual are suitable for the manifestation of depression.

 

What are End of Year Blues

 

End of Year Blues are a range of negative emotions which cause a person to feel sad, lethargic, gloomy and emotionally unstable and not motivated to do anything, specifically towards the end of the year. There are several reasons for this, which have been mentioned below in this blog.

 

Signs & Symptoms

 

Symptoms of End of Year Blues are similar to depression, since the core emotion of sadness and not feeling motivated to do anything is common in the two.

 

Some common symptoms are:- 

 

1. Pervasively sad mood

2. Feeling lethargic and tired most of the day, or even for several days at a stretch

3. Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed earlier, specially in celebrating the festivals around this time

4. Feeling hopeless and directionless

5. Other negative thoughts associated with self-esteem and self-worth

6. Trouble with sleeping

7. Appetite issues

8. Weight gain due to overeating and inactivity

 

Causes

 

There are several reasons which can push a person towards depression during the end of year. For starters, looking back at the year and thinking you haven’t done enough, and then constantly contemplating over this thought can be enough of a reason to make you feel sad and unworthy of celebration and the new year.

 

This thought of rewinding through your year isn’t a conscious one, it is often fed into our minds through the media. Be it television shows, news channels, radios or the internet, everywhere there are discussions about the past year and all that happened in it, hence it is common for our minds to go into that recap mode as well.

 

Feeling like you’ve not done enough the whole year adversely affects your self-esteem, self-confidence, mood and overall emotional and mental well-being. When you’re depressed, your self-esteem goes down, and very naturally you tend to evaluate you and your accomplishments in the past year lower as compared to others, further worsening the situation.

 

A Few Tips from Our Side

 

1. Instead of going through your year and pointing out all that you couldn’t do, focus on all that you could. Those small accomplishments, warm celebrations with your loved ones, and even making it this far amongst all the craze and uncertainty. All of this is a big deal.

2. Instead of apprehending about the new year and thinking of unreal resolutions, focus on the here and now.

3. Break your future goals and plans into smaller, subordinate goals. This is called chunking, wherein you break a bigger concept (could be goals, plans, chapter, anything) into smaller ones. After chunking your goal, complete the smaller chunks, one step at a time. Soon enough you’ll see yourself accomplishing the whole goal by completing these smaller chunks.

4. Practice gratitude. This is a big one. It is quite easy to look on the other side and think the grass is greener there, however what goes unnoticed by many of us is all that we have and have accomplished along the way. The people we have by our side, the journey we’ve covered till now, and making it this far, all hold immense value, and we should always be grateful for what we have.

 

References

 

Doheny, K. (n.d.). End-of-year holidays and depression. WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/new-year-blues 

 

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