Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11
Good day readers!
As I took down Christmas decorations from the tree, I was hit with a with a sense of the ‘blues.’ It used to be so much fun to go picking out a tree, which is the biggest, greenest, fullest? Then putting on the ornaments that they had made or passed along…all to the sound of laughter, talking, sharing, singing. I also remember the shopping, cooking, opening presents, sharing news, going to services together as well as the photos and memories that are made each year. Presently it is just myself, and hubby, and maybe one of the kids if they are around. The holidays are always a special time though and I am grateful for when the kids were all home as well as now, even though they are different. However, I was thinking about dealing with those blues that may hit us now and then, especially around the holidays.
Older people don’t get to see their family often and after the holidays, many feel the “blues”, or feel down.
One article I read said that it was normal to have blues after the holidays. Sometimes they remind us things we’d rather not remember, like relatives always tending to start ‘fights’.
Sometimes those blues become more serious and last longer than just seasonal period. Whereas it may be normal for anyone to get the ‘blues’ now and then, when it starts to last longer than it should then it is time to take a few steps to alleviate or relieve them. Perhaps some support or encouragement or other activity to help one move on. I looked at a few different sources, one of which is listed. Let’s talk about some of the steps one can take to help get through those ‘post holiday blues.’ (http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/holiday-blues#Overview1)
- Realize that this is normal. No Christmas will ever be the same as it was when all the kids were home and we can’t expect the kids to be little forever. We need to adjust our expectations and not keep striving for that ‘perfect’ Christmas holiday every single year, or strive to make it even better than the one last year. Not those desires are wrong at all, it is always nice to make them special and memorable. However, much as we want to; we can’t keep hanging on to idealistically making them all just like they used to be. Life changes, kids grow and change, and thus holiday events or seasons change too and we cannot stop that from happening. Instead make each celebration unique and original, they can be similar but they can also be special and different. It is likewise typical for families to have members with conflicting viewpoints about different issues that are bound to clash during this time of family togetherness. We can try to minimize them, but if they do happen; it is good to realize than it is normal for many families.
- Give yourself time to rest and unwind from the holidays. They are stressful for everyone, schedules are hectic, time is short and seemingly rushed. Make sure you get some good nights of sleep, even go to bed a little earlier if needed for a few days. Relax and go easy on yourself to de-stress and recuperate.
- Try to eat healthy and more normally. Healthier foods like fruits, nuts, and ‘high in vitamin B’ type foods help your body feel better and affect the mood (good for nervous system) as well as depression. Attempt to avoid excessive alcohol as it is an depressant.
- Start a new hobby or plan a fun activity for January. Something new like growing flowers indoors, learning to journal, taking a class to learn a new craft,or learning a new language will stimulate your mind and give you a new focus . Starting a new activity gives you a new purpose and helps one overcome the ‘holiday blues.’
- Reach out to help someone else in need. Those of us who are more mobile can make a visit to an older friend or neighbor who is alone. Give them a call or have coffee together. Volunteer to help at church or some other community activity. Focusing on someone else not only helps you, it helps the person you spend time with.
- Lastly, but not least because it is not easy; accept and let go. Continually thinking of unpleasant situations only tends to build up anxiety unnecessarily. When dark thoughts start, do something to stop them…Take a walk, talk to a friend, listen to upbeat music, read affirming and encouraging verses of scriptures, collect affirming quotes or cards. Even take it a step further and give some to someone else who needs encouragement or affirmation. If you can’t shake it, by all means go to a doctor for a check up, or talk to a trusted friend. Perhaps have the friend call a counselor or pastor if you cannot. The important thing is to take care of it. Prayer is also a very great tool for refocusing, peace, comfort, strength etc. It works wonders.
Here’s for a more peaceful, encouraging, and blessed 2017!
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” — Helen Keller
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