New year sadness

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    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

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Last Updated: 08/30/2022

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why it is useful to be sad before the New Year - Moscow 24, 24.12.2017

December 24, 2017, 00:01


soul, that at least climb into the loop? Why we are very sad on the eve of the New Year and what good can be found in this, read in the column of Anna Kudryavskaya-Panina.

Photo: depositphotos/Wavebreakmedia

I don't remember exactly at what age (but it was definitely in my deep childhood), I suddenly found myself sitting in the children's room on the floor behind the bed and sobbing bitterly. I remember the date very well. December 30th. And the year doesn't really matter. Since then, up to a certain age (quite conscious, I must say), this happened to me almost every year, on his penultimate evening. nine0003

Once I came to my mother with this grief. Naturally, she asked why I was crying, what was the reason? I answered through tears and sobs, answered quite honestly that I feel sorry for him, the outgoing year. Whatever he was, but he was with us for a whole year. And in a day, under our cries, the clinking of wine glasses and the chimes, he will not be. It was a feeling of loss and betrayal at the same time. I felt that he was dying, and we, in the New Year's turmoil, do not even notice this and, moreover, rejoice at the arrival of his replacement. The king is dead, long live the king! nine0003

It was, of course, what psychologists would say, a transference. I unconsciously endowed a period of time with human traits and characteristics, I perceived it as someone alive who was there every day. And in anticipation of the inevitable loss, I grieved.

I have become an adult. Everything has changed. But still, every year on the eve of the main evening at the decorated Christmas tree at the set table, I feel sad. And sometimes this sadness comes earlier - a couple of weeks before the holiday. And the light, pleasant excitement from preparing for it is replaced by periods of frustration and dissatisfaction with oneself and the world around. nine0003

Photo: depositphotos/tommaso1979

Until a certain moment, I even thought that something was wrong with me. Later she considered it her exclusive. And then, not without surprise, I found out that the New Year's blues visits almost every second person.

Why? What is the reason? What makes adults plunge into despondency on the eve of the main holiday of the year?

We are summing up. Consciously or not, but we willy-nilly take a mental look at the outgoing year, and we do not always like these results. Not so long ago, when I was about to make plans for 2018, I looked into the file in which I fixed the tasks for myself for this year. It turns out that I was able to implement a little more than half. Of course, this upset me. And it doesn’t even matter that some of the plans were canceled because they were no longer relevant, the mood still deteriorated. nine0003

There is another holiday in the year before which people tend to be sad. His expectation clearly reveals all our unfulfilled desires and dreams. It's a birthday. But the problem is that everyone has birthdays at different times, and the New Year is the same for everyone. And if you can ignore your birthday, then with the New Year everything is much more complicated.

And even if we know that we moved mountains this year, we still feel how much we didn't manage to do. And if you didn’t have time, you need to catch up. And we enter the race to complete work and household chores, at the same time thinking over the New Year's menu and buying up gifts. Above me, for example, a trip to the tax office hangs like a sword of Damocles, which by no means fits into the plans for the last days of the year, but I have to be in time. And in this bustle and hassle, dealing with the debts accumulated over the year and postponed for later, we dream of peace, walks through the New Year and Christmas markets, delicious mulled wine while having a leisurely conversation with someone dear to our hearts. And the cruel reality makes us conduct a countdown, which knocks on whiskey like a tocsin: there are nine, eight, seven days left before the New Year. The only thing that life has taught me in this sense, in order to minimize stress, expenses and save nerves, is that I buy all the gifts before the beginning of December. I've been doing this for a few years now and it makes my life a lot easier. nine0003

Photo: depositphotos/Syda_Productions

Dissatisfaction with oneself, unfulfilled dreams, the pre-holiday race, vague prospects - all these are common reasons for New Year's blues. And everyone is sad about something of their own. About what he does not have to meet the ideal New Year - a loved one, family, children, money, his home, health in the end.

It is normal to be sad in anticipation of the New Year, psychologists say. There is nothing wrong with the fact that we are sad about the uncompleted and unfulfilled. Moreover, you can even benefit from this. nine0035 The fact that we feel dissatisfaction at the point at which we are tells us that we need to change either the direction of movement or expectations. There is a reason to think about the tasks for yourself and, perhaps, make them more realistic: not to lose weight by 10 kilograms, but to give up sugar, for example. Or try to lighten your New Year's Eve race - not necessarily with pre-planned gifts, like I have, there are many options - so that in the last days of the year only the really urgent remains to be done. And you can also think about the important and valuable thing that is now in your life, and even if it seems to you that there is nothing good in it, you definitely have one thing - this is hope. Hope for the best in the New Year. nine0003

But if you want to be sad, don't deny yourself this luxury. The phenomenon of frustration lies precisely in the fact that it is precisely this that can help us organize, become a motivating force for a breakthrough, a powerful opportunity for progress. In general, be sad for your health, but still do not get carried away. Try to say goodbye to the blues before the chiming clock. We are adults, and every adult is his own Santa Claus, on which the mood, the holiday, the gifts, and the New Year's miracle depend.

nine0040 Kudryavskaya-Panina Anna

society psychology holidays

Post-holiday syndrome: why are we sad after the holiday and how to avoid it


Post-holiday syndrome: why we are sad after the holiday and how to avoid it

January 8, 2020 21 247 views

Natalia Shirokova

We are so looking forward to the New Year: we pack gifts, come up with a menu, prepare outfits, make a wish list, buy sparklers. And a magical night - once again! - and it passes. Like one moment. And now, on January 1, there is a mountain of dirty dishes in the kitchen, and a miracle ... a miracle did not happen. nine0003

Sound familiar? Waiting for the holiday intoxicates stronger than champagne, and then comes a breakdown and disappointment. This can be avoided. Let's prepare in advance so that the blues don't ruin the holidays.

Where does disappointment come from

Our complex and mega-intelligent brain is to blame. A lizard, for example, never thinks that something is wrong in our world. She does not feel disappointed even when she sees that a predator is eating her cubs. There just aren't enough neurons in her brain to imagine some other world. She does not imagine that there is a world without predators, so she is not offended that it does not meet some expectations. nine0003

We always expect something more from life. Therefore, we focus on our disappointments instead of rejoicing at achievements.

Hormones also affect us. When we expect something pleasant, the body produces hormones of happiness - we feel uplifted and euphoric. But very quickly they split and the brain returns to its usual business: the search for potential threats. Hormones of happiness are replaced by hormones of stress - and disappointment is right there.

Fortunately, this can be dealt with. nine0003

Goals instead of expectations

On New Year's Eve, we are waiting for something very big and wonderful - sometimes we don't even know what. That life will suddenly change, Santa Claus will come, a wizard will fly in a blue helicopter, a pumpkin will turn into a carriage, and what else happens in fairy tales. But life is not a fairy tale, and waiting for something I don’t know what will surely lead to disappointment.

Review expectations and change them to goals. Source

Therefore, we change abstract expectations for specific goals. The goal is the result we want to achieve. We have written a lot about how to set and achieve them, and now is the best time to practice this. Think about what exactly you want in the new year and how you can achieve it. Break everything down into tiny steps, and let the first ones be scheduled for January 1st. Then the new year will begin with victories and achievements, which means that there will be no place for disappointment. nine0003


Switching involves breaking the circuit of signals in our brain. Anything that will distract you from "looping" on unjustified expectations will help. Get out your favorite stamp collection, watch a good movie.

Physical activity distracts from sad thoughts and stimulates the production of endorphins. Source

It's even better to do something active: go visiting, go skiing or skating, play with the kids, just take a walk. Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins. Make it so that you have no time to mope and feel sorry for yourself. New Year holidays were not invented for this at all. nine0003

Create miracles with your own hands

Research shows that people become much happier when they do something for others: buy gifts, give help, do charity work.

Learn more