Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
The two Eids are the most important celebrations in the life of a believer. The Prophet (saws) said to Abu Bakr (ra): O Abu Bakr, every people has its festival and this [Eid al Fitr] is our festival. [ibn Majah]
In this festive occasion, we do every kind of halal thing that’s enjoyable: wear new dresses, go for vacations, make and eat the most delicious dishes, have large gatherings of friends and family, and so on.
And yet, among those gatherings, there are some who remain lonely, even sad. Some stay away from people, others have tears in their eyes despite their new dresses and delicious foods. Why? If you’re one of them, or if you know someone like that, this article is for you.
Some Reasons for Festive Depression
There can be many different reasons for this kind of gloom shadowing someone while everyone else is having a great time. Some of them are as follows:
1. Social Pressure
There are many obligations dumped on us by the society. You have to wear a nice trendy dress on Eid, along with matching jewelry and shoes and bags, you have to smell like a perfume shop, you have to go to such and such relatives’ houses, wearing your new dress, or else what will people say?
It doesn’t matter at all whether you feel festive or not, you still have to look festive. While some people like this kind of show of festivity being imposed on them, others feel in them a burden, putting them under stress and irritation. Some find the materialism that’s behind all the shopping for Eid disheartening. Others find it a financial burden.
Loss of a loved one
I lost my father when I was very young, and I would miss him a lot on every festive occasion. These are times when you remember the most those who were so important in your lives.
Some people become very anxious around people. In its extremity, this problem is called social anxiety disorder, but it can take milder forms too. You just don’t feel comfortable around too many people, and the thought of going to a party makes you gloomy. This is caused partly due to imbalance in the neurotransmitters in our nervous system.
His cow is bigger than my cow (on Eid al Adha). Her Eid dress is from such and such brand’s special Eid collection, mine’s just ordinary.
Social comparison dampens our festivity because no matter how nice a something you have, someone else has got better.
Solutions to Festive Gloom
So how to be happy on Eid? Not just look festive, but to truly feel festivity in our hearts? Here are some ideas which you may find useful.
Cut the shoulds out of your life.
Some people will make it almost a religious obligation to feel happy on Eid. It’s as if not feeling happy is a disobedience of Allah the Exalted. Honestly, do we have control over our emotions? It’s not like anyone enjoys feeling sad on Eid, is it? Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for feeling what you feel. It’s not a sin, in fact it’s a test from Allah. If you bear it patiently, Allah will reward you in shaa Allah.
Don’t let anyone make you feel that you have to do this and that on Eid if you don’t feel comfortable with it. The priority is your happiness and comfort.
Make lots of dua for the deceased.
In this moment when you’re remembering them so much, there is a higher chance that your dua will be sincere, from the heart. Use this opportunity to make lots of dua for them.
Meet with the underprivileged.
Go out and visit your poor relatives and the poor communities in your area. Take some food for them and eat with them. This will make us grateful to Allah for the things He has blessed us with, and make your heart content and happy for being able to make these people’s Eid a bit better.
Do what you enjoy doing.
Not everyone’s idea of enjoyment is the same, and you don’t have to do what the majority people find enjoyable, rather do what you yourself find enjoyable. Try to spot those people with whom you share common interests, and hang out with them. If you don’t like meeting too many people, just go watch a movie with your closest friend or go walk around the beach with your spouse.
Please share with us your own experiences on festive gloom, and any methods you use to cope with them.
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