I saw this great advice from Female Facts http://www.maddoxsmye.com/ff/ff.cfm?fact=136&u=173546 and couldn’t wait to share it with you! As we head into the final countdown before the Big Day, these few ideas may actually help you make this the BEST Holiday Season ever! We hope so anyway! …Best wishes from Melissa at Woman-Centric Matters!
Holiday blues. That’s what overcame her. Happy, well adjusted people experience this phenomenon. It used to be that at this time of year, everyone was imbued with the festive, holiday spirit. Of course, that was before people trampled each other in pre-dawn hours to grab bargains in big-box stores, worked 70-hour workweeks, and their kids sabotaged their moods screaming “Wiiiiiii” rather than “wheee!”
Horror! Did we say kids sabotage cheery moods? We should be channeling Norman Rockwell images in our minds, but the fact is, people who don’t have children have less holiday depression than parents. If you’re a parent, we know you understand…your kids don’t want just any toy. It’s a specific toy, probably expensive, brand-name, electronic, and is sold out in every store on the Planet. Enough said.
The biggest cause of holiday blues, though, (and we’re not talking clinical depression but temporary stress, fatigue, or mild sadness associated with this time of year) is expectation. You expect to have a great time at the office party, but it’s a bust, and you feel let down. You hear a beloved carol from childhood in your car as you’re driving home, you start to sing along, and you choke up. Christmas present has never quite measured up to your memories of Christmas past. That’s holiday blues.
Women are susceptible, but please, this isn’t “female sentimentality”! As if working and caretaking (both kids and the elderly) aren’t enough to cause stress, women take on the majority of holiday planning, including decorating, shopping, baking/cooking, wrapping, card-writing, etc. They stuff all this into their already-overscheduled agenda. And money problems affect men and women, as do family issues. Men, in fact, suffer more over the loss of a loved one at this time. And for both, an obnoxious family member can make the holidays miserable (“I know you love your uncle, but he’s eating everything in the frig…”) So, how do you cope?
“Escaping” to work and its routine can actually help. You can share your emotions with a trusted friend or colleague. As for expectations, make them reasonable—think about it: does everything have to be perfect? Do your best and be satisfied, and don’t accept responsibilities you can’t handle. Say “no.” Then, ten things you can do to minimize the holiday blues:
1. eat normally and regularly
2. get plenty of sleep
3. exercise regularly
4. organize your time, make lists, and prioritize
5. make a budget, stick to it, and don’t go into debt
6. let go of the past
7. allow time 15 min. a day, for yourself
8. limit alcohol consumption
9. focus not on what you don’t have but on positives
10. spend time with people who care about you; or volunteer, do something for others
If you’re blues-free, count your blessings and be compassionate with a not-so-lucky colleague. Remember that family dynamics are pretty complicated, and this is the most stressful time of the year. You might suggest a brisk walk after work, (better than a stiff drink), or offer to answer the phone, giving your colleague that much-needed 15 minutes of quiet time. Remember, there’s no proof of a blue gene, which means you’re not immune. Next year, your house guest could be eating everything in the frig, and you could find yourself with a bad case of the holiday blues.
Sources: “Holiday Blues are Common, but can be Eased, Experts Report,” Newswise Social and Behavioral Sciences News, Middle Tennessee State University, 11/20/06. “What are Holiday Blues?” “Do’s and Don’ts to Manage Holiday Blues,” University of Maryland Medical Center. “How to Not Let Holiday Blues Color Your Job: Seasonal Depression and Anxiety can Seriously Affect Job Performance,” MSNBC.com, Eve Tahmincioglu, 12/16/07. “Feeling the Holiday Blues? You Must have Children: Study Finds Parenthood Does Not Make People Happier,” ConsumerAffairs.com, 12/22/05.