Blah Humbug: Fighting the Holiday Blues for the Kids' Sake

Decorated treeThere's something about the holiday season that gives me the blues. I suppose it's the stress that comes from overeating, overdrinking, and overspending as well as from emotional baggage leftover from childhood. No matter how many lights I hang on the house, there's a little corner inside my mind that's always dark. Many of the more life-changing decisions I've made in my life--to get married, to get divorced, to move, to quit jobs--have happened either during or immediately following the holiday season.

The holiday-based blues were hard enough when I was single or married without kids, but they seem particularly devastating now that I have children. This time of year is magical for young people. I want my kids to remember the magic, not the mopey mom. As News From A Broad explains in her post The Holiday Blues: "...having kids you have to suck it up for their sake and it's not easy..."

Ann Douglas of The Mother of All Blogs wrote a wonderful post she titled Workin' It: My 16 Step Plan for Trying to Beat the Blues. I particularly like her steps 2, 9, and 11:

2. Reduce/eliminate alcohol from diet.

9. Tell people how I'm really doing. Not only does it feel better to be honest about these things (especially when you're a tell-it-like-it-is kind of person): it also gives people a chance to rally around when you're feeling extra blechy.

11. Set a favor quotient. I can't possibly do every favor for everyone who asks, particularly when I'm feeling down. I have to pick and choose -- and not feel guilty about picking and choosing.

Another thing that helps me is daily exercise. It's harder to get now that it's dark by 5:30, but when I don't get in a long walk or a short run around the block, my mood plummets.

What about you? What do you do to fight the holiday blues?

BlogHer Contributing Editor Mary Tsao also blogs at Mom Writes.

Image credit: Mary Tsao.


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