Tis’ the season to be jolly, and reflect on your unproductive year! Remember your New Year resolutions? Nothing on that pretty list was accomplished. Remember when you were a kid and thought by the age you are now you would have accomplished some certain goals? You’re not even half way there. It’s really frustrating, but guess what? It’s okay!

(N.B: This article is about these who experience the holiday blues, not clinical depression. If you have depression all year round, please seek professional help.)

How many times have you been a New Year’s Eve party, and you find a drunk person complaining about how this year treated him? This person probably ruins everyone’s night because, well, he’s annoying. But the reality is, he’s your real life Jiminy Cricket.

The holiday season has always been the time of self-reflecting. Either because you see your family and they start asking the same questions, and you give the same answers you’ve been saying for years, or you just look back at the year and realize how it didn’t go your way.  It could even be worse – you could experience pure loneliness.

Many Egyptians remember the scene from Mohamed Henedy’s movie “Ga’ana El Bayan El Taly” when Henedy’s character went to interview people in the streets about what they’re doing in the NYE. The scene was a masterpiece, because of its very dark humour. It showed how depressed people were to talk about New Year’s Eve.

While the ones in the movie are very underprivileged and have obvious reasons to be depressed, you have the reason to be depressed too, even if you feel you have been blessed with much more than them. You might theoretically have everything anyone could wish for, but that doesn’t mean you have to be happy. We all have skeletons in our closet, and they’re always out to dance around us by the end of the year.

We’ve all said “this year was terrible for me” at least once, thinking it was just a bad year. But we’d like to burst your bubble and slap you in the face with a reality check – life is terrible, not the year! Some could be upset from certain events in their lives that happen or over general things we all go through, but the common ground is that life has it’s downs and we have to deal with them purposefully.

High expectations and the disappointments that follow

One of the most common causes for the blues is failing to reach the high expectations you set for yourself last New Year’s Eve. We all have high expectations from life; it’s a normal thing, and being disappointed for not achieving these expectations is a normal thing too. What you need to learn is to accept your failure. We all fail, and we all get disappointed and it’s a part of life. It’s only a matter of how to deal with it. Just remember, either don’t have any expectations for the next year, or at least be realistic about them.

Loneliness and isolation

You’re on Facebook, everyone is either with family or out partying and you’re all alone creeping on them from your phone’s screen. Some avoid these events intentionally, and some don’t even get invited. If this is your only problem, then you should be thankful. I know, I know, it sounds like it’s the end of the world to feel alone, but it’s very fixable. As hard as it might sound, you could try to reach out to others. Call your family, distant family, co-workers, friends, or even strangers. If all else fails, take yourself out on a date. Head to a spa, day use in a hotel, travel somewhere, luckily the New Year’s Eve this year is on a Thursday and you could use the weekend for a quick getaway.

Looking back at your year

You shouldn’t look back and “reflect” on how bad your year was. The past happened and you can never change it. Beating yourself up won’t change anything. The only thing you can do is to learn from your mistakes. If you really want to reflect on the year, don’t just look at it and cry about it. Analyse your actions and outcomes, and see how you could learn and improve yourself. Other than that, there are no other reasons to reflect.

Treat it like any other day

If you can’t deal with everything, just treat it like any other normal day. It’s not the time to “start over,” nor is it the time to reflect. Just binge watch your favourite show, or do whatever you’d normally do and get the day over with.

Embrace your troubles

Know that it’s okay, even healthy, to be troubled. It’s okay to feel down. It’s okay to feel like giving up. It happens to the best of us, and it’s normal and even healthy. There’s nothing wrong with you, and nothing is wrong with your holiday blues. You could try and make yourself feel better about it, but if you can’t, it’s okay. You’re okay.

It’s a good time to start a New Year fresh with a new, and better, perspective on your life. Learn from your mistakes, and try to work on yourself. It’s never too late to change yourself, or to acquire new skills and hobbies. Make the best out of every year, and stop dwelling over what you can’t change.