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8 Strategies to chase away the Christmas blues

By • Dec 18th, 2007 • Category: Featured Articles, Habits, Personal Development, Self-Esteem

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It is common knowledge now that many of the suicides that take place around this time of year are due to depression and loneliness. If in the midst of all the Christmas merriment that surrounds you, you are harboring some Christmastime blues, skip the Prozac and sample the following strategies to disperse the dark clouds and welcome and enjoy the season.

1. Count your blessings.

Start a gratitude journal and every day write down a few things that you are grateful for e.g. the air condition in your car, the well-stocked neighborhood hardware, the always-cheerful and helpful cashier at the drug store, Hong Wing coffee, ham, and all the other favorite Christmastime goodies. Taking time to be grateful helps you experience and appreciate life in a whole new way. Your cup may not be running over, but you could at least see it as half full.

2. Enjoy the music.

Play your favorite songs and music especially those associated with the Christmas season. Turn up the volume, sing and dance to your heart’s content. Pump it up in your car as a way to ward of stress associated with traffic jams.

3. Imitate the children.

Observe their unbridled zest for life and their joyful appreciation for simple things. Follow their lead, reclaim your sense of fun – play games and watch comedies. Instead of documentaries on natural disasters or Law and Order, curl up with some old favorites like Christmas on Sesame Street and Home Alone, or enjoy some of the newer Christmas-themed movies.

4. Clean up and de-clutter.

You may not be in the mood for Christmas cleaning and decorating. Nevertheless, there is a something to be said for clean and uncluttered surroundings. Once you start, well, it is too late to stop until your home is spic and span and shinny new.

The ancient art of Feng Shui purports that getting rid of clutter rids your environment of negative energy and allows positive energy to surge into all aspects of your life. Clearing out what you no longer want or need makes life easier all around. Your home is neater, looks more spacious and cleaning is more manageable. There can also be a tremendous feeling of freedom as you let go of the past and open yourself to what lies in your future.

Emotional clutter can be even more damaging. We have all said or done things we regret; the secret is to do everything possible to repair the damage. Then forgive yourself and move on with your life.

5. Reward yourself.

If there is a job that you hate to do – painting, mowing the lawn, etc. stop procrastinating. Just do it. Then reward yourself with something you love and enjoy – a new outfit, a free concert, an evening with a good book, or doing absolutely nothing.

6. Engage your creative muscles.

So you’re not an artist. Use one of your children’s coloring books, do the join-the-dots projects and color them with crayons. Take on a bigger project – re-decorate a room in your home, preferably the one in which you spend the most time. Don your wide-brim hat and gloves, arm yourself with your tools and putter around in your garden or simply re-pot the one plant on your porch.

Make your own Christmas wreath and tree decorations. Make some for another family or a friend. Being creative in the smallest way gives you such an emotional lift that you won’t stay down in the dumps for long.

7. Take action.

The reality of your fears is often less stressful than worrying about them. Talk over your problems with a trusted friend. You may discover that your fears, while valid maybe premature to say the least.

For example, if you have always dreamed of going to Spain but you worry that you can’t speak Spanish, buy a Spanish tutorial CD and dedicate some time each day to learning the language. Double the fun by getting someone to learn it with you. Motivate yourself to see it through by thinking of how fluent, confident and comfortable you will be when you travel to a Spanish-speaking destination.

For the holidays, learn the Christmas greetings in your chosen language and use it every day.

8. Socialize.

Being stuck in the work, home, sleep, work cycle is enough to depress even the jolliest of souls. Start meeting one friend for an occasional lunch. Before long, you could be no longer two friends having lunch, but a group of best buddies with a regular monthly lunch or liming date. New friends are like sprinkles of exotic spices added to our lives. But old friends, well, they are the precious, priceless, secret ingredients of the good life.

Plan a Christmas brunch for your closest friends and it doesn’t have to be on Christmas day either. Try to attend as many functions as possible to be with old friends and meet new ones. Dress appropriately but step it up a notch when you go out.

Use these strategies to dispel the blues, perk up and sustain your enthusiasm for the holidays and throughout the coming year. Remember that creating, maintaining and spreading joy should be a yearlong practice. Make it real for you and others. Starting now, choose to spend your days as happily as you possibly can.


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2 Responses »

  1. good post. merry Xmas to all the visitors

  2. Holiday greetings to you Rajshekhar,

    I appreciate your taking a moment to leave a comment on my article.

    Have a wonderful and joyous Christmas holiday.


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