Are you exhausted, totally worn out, wondering where your energy or your enthusiasm has gone? Are you walking around in a slump, wondering what all of the excitement of Christmas was all about? Do you want to run to your room and have a good cry because you feel misunderstood and unappreciated? If so, you may be going through what is called the After Christmas Slump.
The Christmas hype has the majority of us shopping, regardless of whether it is on the Internet or going out to the department stores. We have accepted within our minds that there are such things as perfect gifts and so we go out searching for them. After paying more money than we should have, we go home with our perfect gifts wrapped and ready to put under the Christmas tree. The problem begins on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, when our hours of labour, at shopping for perfect gifts, does not reap the joy and excitement that we expected. We began to overgeneralize and filter in what we want to see. That lack of "Oh, this is just what I wanted," or that stern look of what you perceive as dissatisfaction, or the misinterpretation of a few words said by the receiver of the gift wounds our Psyche and we fall into the After Christmas Slump or the After Christmas Depression. "The nobody appreciates me," song runs through our heads because the praise that we expected to receive is marred by an unintentional facial reaction or words from the receiver of the gift.
According to Dr. David D. Burns M.D. author of Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy, some people suffer from a cognitive distortion. "They pick out the negative in any situation and dwell exclusively on it, thus perceiving the whole situation is negative," according to Burns. He goes on further to state that, "When you are depressed, you wear a pair of eyeglasses with special lenses that filter out anything positive. All that you allow to enter your conscious mind is negative. Because you are not aware of this "filtering process," you conclude that everything is negative. The technical name for this process is "selective abstraction." It is a bad habit that can cause you to suffer much needless anguish."
Thus, facing and accepting the fact that there is no perfect Christmas gift releases us from that ugly filtering process of selective abstraction in our thought life, which dictates that every thing we pick out is wrong. So what, if your husband did not like those striped pajamas, let him go back and exchange them for something else. Or maybe your children wanted a different kind of smartphone or digital reader instead of the one you bought them.
None of these situations mean that they are not happy with you, but with your choice. Let them exchange it for the brand that they want to have. Individuals have different tastes and different likes. Basing your happiness on the facial reactions, or disgruntled and disappointing words of those whom you have given gifts will throw you into the After Christmas slump.
So do not measure your self perception and self esteem on the emotional reception of the gifts you have given others and you might begin to notice that the burden on your shoulders has become lighter and your After Christmas Slump has disappeared.