Just when you thought it was safe to start hanging all the decorations, it hits- The Holiday blues. They get me every year about this time. I always start out so excited going into Halloween. I make most of my gifts all year long, then around Halloween I start wrapping them up. After that, Thanksgiving brings on all the warm feelings of family and friends. Then something weird happens.
The days following Thanksgiving I start to get depressed. I know that I am not the only one that feels like this, many of my friends have shared their mood swing at the same time. The problem I used to have was how do I get out of the funk. Well, I think I have finally figured it out. The following is my top five big things that help me work through my Holiday blues:
- Grateful: Now, when I get up every morning from Thanksgiving into the fifth or sixth of the new year, I lay in bed and think of the three things I am grateful for as of that moment. I don’t care if they are the same things on several days. It doesn’t matter. I just need to say – out loud – the top three things that come to my mind before I get out of bed. This little trick has helped me to at least start my day in a happy mood. Keeping in mind, for me, the good things I have instead of the pains I have to endure later makes life a bit easier.
- Song: I used to have a beautiful voice (at least I thought so), but years of colds and screaming at ball games have done their damage to my vocal cords. I never wanted to be a famous singer, but I do enjoy singing never the less. I will purposely force myself to sing along to several songs during these dangerous days. One of my favorites is not even a holiday song; it’s If I had a million dollars by Barenaked Ladies. I don’t know if it is the melody or the lyrics, but the song just puts a bounce in my step. (Although the lyrics are very funny to me.)
- Do Something: Not just anything, but something I can do well and am proud of. My yarn works, paper crafts, and writing do this for me. I pick up my supplies and just put something quick together. Most times it is something that I can (and usually do) give away. The creating, sense of accomplishment, and the warm act of giving all combined seem to perk me right up. The best part is I can always see the feelings of amazing love and affection on the face of the recipient, especially when I surprise them with the handmade gift. You’re not crafty – no big deal: bake, read, spend time, or drive someone to lift their spirits. The whole point is you took the time to include them in your thoughts.
- Cry: I was a very emotional mess during menopause. Men don’t understand this, but you women do (or will). After that ended, I found fewer and fewer opportunities to release stress. Women accumulate a ton of that nasty stuff, and if we don’t let it out somewhere safe, an explosion will happen. Not the bomb stuff till it falls apart, but an explosion much worse. We will blow up at someone (usually someone very close to us), and without meaning to, we will hurt them with our words. To correct for this, I have already pulled out It’s a Wonderful Life movie. Not the remakes but the original black and white one. I will ALWAYS break into a full-blown crying jag during this. If you choose to go this route, two words of advice:
- First – Have a hankie (look it up) or a box of tissues in your lap.
- Second – Do it before bed.
You will cry hard and long until you are exhausted. That is the whole point of this exercise. This is one of my best depression releases. When I get up the next morning, it feels as if the weight-of-the-world had been lifted. Then I do #1 again.
- Rip out weeds: You can just tear up some papers, scrub the floor on your hands and knees, or over-haul your furniture. I love ripping out weeds in my gardens. We cheat because we have an enormous greenhouse, so I can lash out any time of year as needed. I will get to pulling and digging so hard that I break into a heavy sweat (Sorry dainty ladies, but I have never just perspired – I sweat.). I do this on purpose for at least a couple of hours. I wait until my body tells me that I am exhausted. Then I go in and take a long hot shower. Sometimes, if things are really low, I may cry in the shower too. The more stress I can wash down the drain, the better my mood, and the less time the depression hangs on. Helpful hints:
- Keep a pen and paper handy. I have come up with some outstanding ideas while doing this. When I forgot the pen and paper, I forgot the idea by the time I got back in the house.
- Make sure you do not have good plants in the plot. I have torn out perfectly good flowers in a yanking rage. Don’t do it! You will just feel worse after, and then angry because you will have to replant new ones.
The big picture here is to hold strong during these well-known hard times onto the things that make you happy. Sad but true, sometimes we just have to fight to be happy (there should be a law against it.).
(FYI – Christmas has been cancelled this year. I told Santa that I had been good all year, and he dropped dead laughing.)
You can also check me out on: www.helbergfarmstories.com for fun stories from our farm.