“People aren’t likely to just suddenly develop depression because it’s Christmas, but certainly an underlying condition can worsen with the stress of the holidays. People may store up all of the negative feelings they experience throughout the year, and Christmastime just ends up being the breaking point for them,” explains Solomons, an expert on self-esteem. “Because low self-esteem is a major cause of depression, this season in particular can be rife with triggers that can worsen the condition. So it’s important to try and engage in activities that enhance, rather than detract from, our own feelings of self-worth.”
Tips to increase your self-esteem
• Spend time during the holiday season with people who make you feel positive about yourself. If your family dynamics are such that those close to you are likely to make you feel worse about yourself, then you may want to rethink your holiday plans and address how you deal with negativity in those situations.
• The holidays often raise a lot of issues surrounding body image. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself just to fit into someone else’s perception of beauty. Enjoy the festivities and don’t place all your self-worth on how you look in some outfit. Physical perfection doesn’t translate into self-esteem;
• Don’t focus on the consumerist aspects of Christmas. The financial toll of holiday shopping can result in increased depression and anxiety. The constant barrage of messages telling us to “buy, buy, buy!” can make an already stressful time that much harder. Consider giving gifts that are imbued with meaning, rather than monetary value.
Dr. Solomons stresses that Christmas is the perfect time to foster self-esteem in others. Take time this season to let others around you know how much they mean to you, how much you value them personally and even professionally.
For more information on Dr. Solomons and his work self-esteem, visit www.borntobeworthless.com
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gal-friday is a publicist, and freelance writer She works with authors, agents, publishers, businesses and cool arts causes. She is partnered with Brian Wood- a non-fiction literary agent in Vancouver to maximize publicity exposure