Blah Humbug: Fighting the Holiday Blues for the Kids' Sake
By Mary Tsao on December 05, 2006
There'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?
Image credit: Mary Tsao.
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