Finding Self: Get in the Holiday Spirit

Hello Readers!  Okay, I’m sure many of you right now might be feeling a little low right now, especially with the upcoming events.  Those holiday blues are hitting all of us, even me.  But after years of suffering from the holiday blues, I have found ways to ease them and brighten my mood.  And I’m here to offer some ideas to help you overcome those feelings.  So, let’s get started.

1. Church services.  Sometimes what you need is really just a spiritual boost, and you can get that by attending your church services.  Just hearing the word of God and opening your heart to the miracle of faith and spirituality can help brighten your mood.  I have often felt refreshed and reinvigorated after attending services.  But sometimes you still need a little boost in your faith.  Do not be afraid to reach out to your priest and pastor for help.  Visit him or her during their office hours.  Talk to them about it after services.  Tell them that you feel lost or down.  It isn’t the first time they’ve heard it, and it won’t be the last.  And they are there to help you.  Reach out to them if you need it.

2. Listen to Christmas music and sing along.  Last year, I suffered severe depression during the holidays.  It was the first holiday season without my father, as he had passed in June of that year.  I had just begun the grieving process on my late father’s birthday in early October and I was still in the anger step of the grieving process.  I was still adjusting to having a baby.  My husband Ryan’s work schedule had him working around the clock.  My family members were still working through their own grief.  And I was adjusting to my in-laws and feeling lost.  Every day, I would sing Christmas songs, the ones I could remember and sing, to my son Sean.  Somehow, I made it through the holidays with little issue, although it could’ve been better had I gone to a specialist.  But, given what I was enduring, it’s amazing how a little music could make things so much brighter for me.

One of the joys of singing and listening to Christmas music is that it makes kids laugh.  Nothing is brighter than listening to kids laugh or watching them dance around with joy.  So, tune into the radio to the holiday station, sing along with the songs you know, and join your kids in dancing around.  As a bonus, you can get a great workout in by dancing around for awhile.  And it should cheer you right up!

3. Volunteer/charity.  I sometimes have found that helping those in need, either with volunteering or charity work, can make me feel better about my own troubles.  Often, my volunteering or charity work makes me take a step back and re-evaluate my own troubles, and it can often help brighten my own mood by making me see that my problems aren’t as bad as others.  I know that sounds like a convoluted reason for volunteering, and I don’t recommend volunteering just to feel better about yourself.  I actually feel that volunteering is a humbling experience.  It can make you feel so grateful for what you have.  However, that gratitude may be what you need to brighten your mood.

4. Watch an uplifting movie.  I love holiday movies because they are almost always uplifting for viewers.  Some of my favorites are Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, and A Christmas Carol.  These will always cheer me up and remind me of the true meaning of the holiday season.  If you’re feeling down one day, then tune into Netflix and find a favorite movie to watch among the holiday selections, or tune into the Hallmark station on cable.  This can really help you feel right as rain.  As for the Hallmark station, they always play uplifting movies that focus on what really matters at this time of year.  Yes, they are sappy movies, but they can also brighten your mood.

5. Call a friend.  This one became a must for me during my grieving process this past year.  My close friend ‘M’ and I were constantly messaging each other as she offered words of encouragement and sympathy as I grieved and raged.  It was an overwhelming year for me, and having that close friend to vent to was more than I could’ve asked for.  Between adjusting to mommy-hood, adapting to my marriage–currently just under two years together–and to living with someone else, grieving the loss of my father as well as my grandfather and my husband’s grandmother, and struggling with new work and sudden changes.  Just knowing that I could send a message or call my friend and hear words of encouragement during a difficult season really helped me through as well.  So, pick up your phone today and reach out to someone.  A friend, your sister, your mom.  Often, just being able to talk to someone about what’s going on can really help you overcome those holiday blues.

6. Write it down.  Write down your blues.  Write down what’s causing your blues.  Put it all on paper.  Vent to the page.  Getting it out onto the page can be very powerful.  Sometimes just putting it on paper can make that molehill disappear or can help you work out how to overcome your struggles.  Often, the effort of writing the words down can help you feel better.  And then, when you get it all out, the burn the words.  Destroy them.  Rip it up.  Burn them in the fireplace.  Cut them up.  This can be a very symbolic move as it can make you feel like you’ve destroyed those blues.  Like you’ve cut through them.  Like you’ve burned your way up.  It can be a great way to get happy again.

I hope my suggestions help cheer you up today.  And, above all, put your family first and look to them for a reason to be happy once again.

Until next time,

-BBM

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