Having a Blue Christmas?
I am probably the last person who remembers Shotgun Red -
a puppet who appeared on the late lamented NASHVILLE NOW.
On his Christmas Special, Shotgun was driving in the snowy night, trying to reach his family before Christmas.
He kept switching radio channels but no matter what station he found, the tune BLUE CHIRSTMAS blared out: Elvis, Ernest Tubb, Willie Nelson ...
When he turned to the last station he could get and got the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing it, Shotgun raised his head and howled like a wolf.
Is that Blue Christmas wolf howling inside you right now?
There are ways to starve it and feed the Serene Wolf within:
1.) CHOOSE YOUR COMMITMENTS WISELY -
You may be expected to show up at a family gathering, or to attend a certain set of social events, but if you are not going to feel comfortable in certain environments,
then simply decline the invitation.
Choosing when to step out and mingle and when to have a quiet night in,
no matter what day your calendar says, is a great practice in self-care and a great way to avoid a Blue Christmas this year.
2.) PUT A H.A.L.T. TO YOUR CHRISTMAS BLUES -
We are much more likely to make poor decisions when we feel Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, so taking time to check in with your current mental and emotional states is important.
Did you choose wisely and commit to a party that you are now feeling too tired to attend?
You have the right to not go.
When tired, for example, the chances of you making decisions that are not aligned with your values, goals, and way of life are higher.
What can you do instead?
Take a nap and see how you feel. Rent a movie and cook some dinner either alone or with a trusted friend.
Listen to new Christmas carols that are not tied to any bittersweet memories.
Browse YouTube for comedians that add sparkle to your private times.
3.) STRIVE FOR BALANCE -
Instead of indulging at every event, and every time a treat is offered, stay balanced with your daily intake.
If you indulged at a get together last night,
try having a breakfast of fruit and a whole grain (maybe oatmeal or wheat toast with peanut butter) and a hearty salad for lunch.
Starting the day off with good food choices leads to better food choices throughout the day.
The see-saw of Christmas blues can be swung your way by laughter --
seek out sources that make you smile and laugh.
And try to add the perfume of laughter to someone else's day -- some of it will linger on you.
4.) REACH OUT -
Not just for help -- but to give it as well.
That elderly neighbor you haven't seen in awhile? Drop in with a plate of cookies or a holiday turkey or food for her pet.
Have friends slipped away from your daily contacts?
Emails are short and simple. Twitter and FB them, letting them know you miss them.
5.) A MOVING TARGET IS HARDER FOR THE BLUES TO HIT -
By simply taking a walk everyday, you are getting the blood flowing and keeping your body in active mode.
Increased activity releases endorphins which will elevate your mood.
Just as antibody production is connected to both exercise and happiness, so too is endorphin production.
Endorphins act as both a painkiller and as the pay-off for your body's reward system.
You may also get an endorphin blast from talking to a stranger, eating a satisfying meal or being exposed to ultraviolet light.
A jog, an hour of yoga,
(just me trying to get into those ridiculous positions is good for a good belly laugh -- from those watching me)
a trip to the gym, a bike ride, or anything else that makes you feel good is even more important this time of year.
What can also keep you from a Blue Christmas is movement in the form of volunteering.
It is hard to be down when you are helping others.
Check with your local food kitchen or charitable donation centers for when and where you can provide service to those in need.
Give yourself permission to feel down for 30 seconds and then do something nice for someone else.
It really does help.