From the blog: Have a Case of the Holiday Blues? Here’s 13 Ways to Chase Them Away
Want to know what I’m hearing a lot this month? Folks just aren’t in the holiday spirit. It’s been a tough year. And the holidays are making it even rougher. Because, not only have they fallen away from regular routines. The old traditions that used to bring the holidays to life? Just aren’t working. In fact, many have admitted that they are experience a case of the Holiday Blues. Just when they’re ready for some peace, comfort, and joy.
I’m the first to admit that our modern times can feel super challenging. Frankly, you feel overwhelmed. And burned out. And if you’re really honest: more then a little blue. Sometimes, life moves at such a fast pace, we don’t notice how off-center life has become. Yet, when the holidays arrive? We can’t help but be brought to the cold reality.
Yes, you want to love your life again. But for now, you’d happily embrace just chasing the holiday blues away.
Despite the holidays bringing about more stress. It also brings about activities you want to enjoy. Like spending time with your favorite nieces and nephews. Or seeing that beloved sister of yours that lives so far away.You want to relax and appreciate your holiday decorations. And really take the time to savor those once-a-year holiday treats.
Especially when life has felt more than a little challenging? You just want to enjoy the holidays.
But those blues, oh, those holiday blues seem to creep up on you.
And while you know that something has got to change for the long haul. Because, you know you can’t live this way forever. So, what if you simply begin here, right where you are. Before we leap into the new year.
It’s easy to pretend. Or force yourself to just go through the motions. But what if you found a way to capture the essence of the spirit? And really bolster your mood? Sometimes, seemingly simple or small things can help more than you’d think.
Here are 13 ways to dive into spirit and shake the blues this season.
1. Spend Some Time with Nature
There’s nothing like the beauty of snow or the way the moonlight shines across your lawn. Nature allows us to connect to our real inner rhythms instead of those outside demands. Layer on the clothing. Wrap a scarf around your neck. Put on a hat. Feel the wind in your face. Let the light of the sun (or the moon) shine upon you.
2. Ensure You Have Some Full Body Contact
There’s nothing like full on body contact to release the good endorphins. Hug. Snuggle. Lean into the warmth of others. This works with children, pets, and adults. This will help you work things out from a place of love.
3. Combat the Holiday Blues by Going Within
Listening to your heart is challenging when you’re so busy. Get still and do a little meditation or prayer. Pray the rosary. Lay on the driveway (with a blanket!) and count the stars. Dive into gratitude. Begin a prayer journal.
4. Stop Working So Much and Play
Allow your inner child to have her way. Pull out a checker board or Monopoly. Throw your dog a tennis ball. Turn on some music and dance around the house. Pull out markers and a stack of paper and draw. Put on your favorite songs – be it Christmas or Show Tunes – and sing at the top of your lungs. Play is often a way to combat feeling overwhelmed.
5. Indulge Yourself
Go to Starbucks and sit and savor your favorite drink. Buy a piece of good chocolate and slowly eat it. Curl up with a good book and a blanket. Watch your favorite holiday film. Take a luxurious bubble bath. Go ahead and buy yourself that handbag you’ve been wanting rather than hoping to find it under the tree. Indulging yourself can be the path to remembering how much you need delight, pleasure, and small luxuries.
6. Giving to Others Can Help Chase Away the Holiday Blues
Clear out your pantry and donate to the Food Pantry. Better yet, go to the store with the sole purpose of donating. Dig out the change at the bottom of your purse and put it in a Salvation Army kettle. Donate clothes that you no longer love to Goodwill. Choose an Angel off of a giving tree. Write a check to the Humane Society.
7. What if You Embraced the Spirit of Forgiveness?
Life is too short to hold a grudge. Write a letter of forgiveness – even if it’s to yourself.
8. Play Dress Up to Boost Your Spirit
There’s nothing like getting all dressed up. Take time to tend to yourself. You can go out if you like. Or. You can get dressed to the nines for an intimate dinner at home. Don’t forget your favorite lipstick!
9. Chase Away the Holiday Blues by Immersing Yourself in Scent
Olfactory memories can bring us great pleasure. Burn a candle or make some homemade cider with Cinnamon sticks. Snag a bag of those scented pine-cones. Use scented lotions or body wash in the shower. Don’t forget a spritz of your favorite perfume.
10. Decide How You Desire to Feel
What would help you create that desired feeling? Pulling out all your decorations and decking all the halls or doing the minimum? Would you like to create a lavish dinner or an intimate affair? Lots of friends or family? Or just you and your sweetheart?
11. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Sometimes, a case of the holiday blues demands we take courage by the horns and ask for some help. This can come in many ways. You can flat out ask for help. Or guidance with a challenge. Don’t forget prayer and meditation. Hire some help. Whether it’s someone to clean your house, do some of your shopping, or cater a meal. Maybe it’s time to find a therapist or hire a coach. Maybe it’s the simple companionship of baking cookies with a friend.
12. Allow Yourself to Receive
Sometimes, we get nervous about what others are gifting us, whether it’s a physical gift, their time, or their love. Allow yourself to receive, darling. Breathe. Open your heart. Remind yourself that you are worthy of love and affection. That it’s OK to be happy. Remind yourself that it’s ok to be happy. Remind yourself that you deserve to be in love with your life
13. Shake the Holiday Blues by Giving Yourself Permission to Break From Tradition
It’s easy to feel we “should” do certain things for each holiday. Just because you’ve always done something, doesn’t mean you have to. Grant yourself permission to break from those old traditions and create new ones. And, maybe even opt-out of the holidays and capture the deeper spiritual experiences you’ve been seeking.
Don’t let the pace of the holidays get to you, darling. And remember, you are always at choice. You can choose to capture any essence of the holiday spirit in your own way.
When you find some concrete tools that help chase away the holiday blues. Even just a little. Remember them. Because, now, you know what little tips and tricks help you shift your mood. These can be brought into the new year to help you begin dealing with all the things that make you feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Setting you up to finally love your life again.