Hope, Help and Happiness: A Mental Health Holiday Wish List

December 8, 2012 S.

The holiday season is very difficult for many people, especially individuals who have a mental health diagnosis. The stressors are quite abundant and memories of past trauma can trigger an episode for many people. I often try not to internalize "the madness" of the holiday season. This includes the stress of holiday shopping, gift-giving, traveling, family interactions among other other possible triggers. I usually distract myself with far more interesting ideas of hope, help and happiness.

Hopelessness vs. Hopefulness

This is centered around my attitude of being optimistic and future-oriented. It takes a lot of effort for me to not ruminate about my past. The guilt and shame I felt over past mistakes was crippling and debilitating when I let those negative thoughts control me. Today, my daily mantra is: I can either live in the past or live for the future.

Help and Happiness

The act of giving is very popular during the holiday season and we seem to want to give happiness to other people. I have decided to focus on helping myself build happiness from within. This requires me being selfless not selfish. I always think of happiness as the gas/fuel in my car. The car is me. I can't get where I want to go without the gas. Sometimes, the fuel is low and it's hard for me to function as well. I can still get to my destination but I have to always remember to refuel or refill the happiness inside me. I use a bunch of coping mechanisms to actually do this but I have to remember to stop, take a breath to refill myself; especially during the busy times of the holiday.

In "the madness" of the holiday season, it is easier for us to forget ourselves or to forgo the healthy coping habits that keep us well but we always have to remind ourselves to focus on remaining hopeful, being helpful (to ourselves) and fostering happiness from within.

APA Reference
S. (2012, December 8). Hope, Help and Happiness: A Mental Health Holiday Wish List, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: S.

December, 8 2012 at 9:37 am

I get depressed after the holiday's. After all the excitement and business of Christmas and New Years, it is a let down. I get very depressed and start to spin out of control. I'm going to try to be on top of it this year.
Good blog.

December, 9 2012 at 12:09 am

Exactly,Me Too,. Its so hard not only the reality of the Holidays,but the memories from special loved ones gone. With those feelings I say its not a Resulution,or a personal gift,food,any of the shorterm blues. Look at Your past.. "eh," lessons learned. "Your Going to Find The Inner Happy Voice..," its saying "Look at what I got." "I will Achieve at least one Goal,and GOALS do not have to be INSANE. Think Reality but Acomplish somthing Great from you!! Dig it out darlin!!, AS With me Errr Its Diffucult but We can do it! HAPPY SAFE HOLIDAYS!!
Best Happiness Award To Youand Thank You Michelle.

Isaac Sarayiah
December, 9 2012 at 5:08 am

XMAS is a very difficult time for many as it tends to bring things to the furore.
But with regards the feelings of hopelessness - the cause of those feelings which can often stem from childhood need to be resolved if you are ever going to Heal. Sometimes this will not be possible, but only dealing with issues at the root cause can bring about a permanent resolution and allow you to see things clearly.
I went through a very difficult time where I almost lost my life and I created a blog to help others using my experiences. The link is and articles, "Suicide Blonde" and "The Healing Power of Sand" are two of many which I would recommend reading.

January, 21 2013 at 1:06 pm

the holiday season use to make so terrable and alone that i just wanted to end it but with the meds and counsling i can enjoy them more . i am a much better person to be around.

November, 25 2013 at 6:01 pm

Oddly enough,when mum. & dad were here,I kinda liked Christmas....
Never the crowded shops,but must say,did love helping make the fancy raspberry dessert w my mum during her last yrs.
I tend to not be much on top of how many yrs been since she passed,but awhile now.
But just near Christmas.
Dad recently died 2 yrs this month,even before holidays,plus ending bf
Dilemma ...quite debilitating...
I'm not looking forward to Christmas,I feel extra lost..but as I've posted previously,felt
abandoned by my bf anyway,but still was 5 yrs...
Loss is rough for me,lost many people I cared for.
This year I might take a chance,take my sister up on her dinner offer for Christmas..
The last couple yrs I spent alone w my cat,crying,yet thinking better to be sad here than ruin everyone else's Christmas...But maybe I should give it a chance..after all,they've given me a multitude of them.
I know it would make my sister happy...I want to see that again,I've missed it..:-)

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