Today’s assignment – Holiday Depression – is a very real one for many people, although we may not immediately notice it. It has a wide range- everything from the person who has nowhere to go on Thanksgiving to people holding off on filing for divorce until after Christmas and everything in between. I cannot pretend to have any kind of solution to the problem – things like impending divorce have layers of causes and problems that will not be solved in a brief blog paragraph – but I can speak to the typical seasonal depression that many people here in New England have at this time. My own winter blues lasts from roughly the end of September to May – my body has never adjusted back to living in the north :).
There is a physical aspect to holiday depression. It is cold and we are either indoors or getting feeble sunlight while outdoors. Vitamin D levels plummet and depression kicks in. You can read more about Vitamin D here. This is not the be all and end all of holiday depression, but keeping up Vitamin D levels has benefits beyond just feeling not bad around Christmas.
Tangent: I wonder if there is holiday depression in Australia, which has a huge Orthodox population? In Australia Christmas falls in the summer, and Easter is in late fall (from what I understand).