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Bini

Holiday blues?

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I could really use some inspiration to get me through Christmas and the New Year. I'm not sure why I feel so exhausted and void of the holiday festivities, but my tank is running on empty and the season feels like any other day. My husband thinks I'm having the holiday blues, and says that I go through this zombie-robotic phase at the end of every year. I hadn't really noticed but as I reflect I think he might be right. The thing is, things are good, overall I have no complaints. I've completed my holiday To Do list and have checked everything off. Everything is in order and on schedule. What's with this blah feeling? Ugh. I don't think I'm depressed, though I've struggled with depression, I don't think I'm at that point. I just feel offbeat but not losing my mind (yet lol). So between being wife and mother and the glue that keeps things together during the crazy holidays, how do you ward off or manage the holiday blues?

 

*Edit: Sorry for the typos.

Edited by Bini

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I had a similar problem about ten years ago, although it wasn't the type of generic blues that you describe.  One of my best friends had died horribly, and his passing was very stressful because nobody would take his pets so I ended up adopting them.  (They turned out to be the nicest pets I've ever had, and I cannot imagine life without them now.)

 

Doctor suggested meds.  I tried one (i.e., one type of medication, not one pill) but had a bad reaction almost immediately so he weaned me off quickly and I decided to try other things before resorting to other meds.  Here is what I tried... they worked for me.  Can't say they will work for everyone.

 

1. Exercise every day, in the sunlight if possible.  Just today I was listening to Mormon Discussion Podcast, and the host mentioned a friend with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  It can be serious.  Even walks outside are good, but sweat is better.  Something about endorphins, whatever they are.  I row.

 

2. I stopped eating all processed foods.  If the Nutrition Facts on the package lists more than 2 ingredients, I don't buy it.  Also no sugar, bread, soda, white rice.

 

3. I ate three meals a day, no snacking, no seconds. 

 

4. I made an effort to get to my correct weight.  (This was a big boost.)

 

5. I got into a regular sleeping pattern.  (This was really hard.  I read that LDS missionaries sleep from 10:30pm to 6:30am each day, so I tried it and it was a good schedule.)

 

6. I focused a lot more on neatness and cleanliness in my house.  I wasn't a slob before, and I wasn't Martha Stewart afterwards, but it was still a big change and it helped me enormously.  Being in a clean home all the time was a big boost.  Something as simple as never leaving a room without improving it in some way, like fetching dirty dishes or straightening something up.  Now if I get in a rut I rearrange a room or two, and that's good for a mood touch-up.

 

7. I also focused on generating clarity and order in my life.  I organized my files (both paper and on computer), wrote out personal goals and a timetable for achieving them, and got to a point where I felt totally in control of my life.

 

8. I made an inventory of everything in my life that wasn't working and all relationships that were broken.  If I could fix it, I was ruthless in fixing it.  If I couldn't, I got rid of it.  If I couldn't fix it and couldn't get rid of it, I moved on and stopping dwelling on it.

 

9. I made an effort to stay connected to as many people as possible, not just my closest relatives and business associates.  This was the hardest item on the list, but I forced myself to socialize more until it came naturally.  The big benefit here is that I laugh a lot with my friends, and I think laughter can be very healing.

 

10. I cut the cord and got rid of my satellite TV.  Huge boost.

 

11. I started reading a lot more about spiritual things and praying more.  And blessing.  Some may think this odd, but as I'm out walking each day whenever I pass someone on the street, especially someone with a pet dog, I say a short prayer for them and bless them they go by.  Is it a valid priesthood blessing?  No.  Does God honor it?  I like to think so.  Does it change me and make me happier?  YES YES YES YES YES

 

Hope you feel better soon... zombies and robots are okay to watch but not okay to be.

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PolarVortex, I really liked your post, thank you.

 

Some of the listed I'm very good at, maybe, over the top on. And then there's things I'm not so great about. Socially, I'm picky and choosy, but for the holidays I'm never around people I don't enjoy (fortunately). This week, starting tomorrow, I'll have my parents staying with us for almost a full week. It should be quality time. I also wanted to say that I don't see anything odd about wishing well on someone else, or as in your case, praying for someone else's well being. I don't think you even have to be religious to do this.

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I'm one with SAD.  It's the reason why I'm in Florida.

 

But even in the Sunshine State, I still get the blues.  It's mostly a combination of bad food and lack of exercise (if it gets below 70, I get too cold to go out).

 

What I usually do besides the normal - get sunshine and good nutrition and 8 hours of sleep - is just to simplify.  I just concentrate on feeling Christmassy and not much else... lots of stuff going on in the ward between ward activity to RS activity to Youth Activity to Scouts Activity... all around Christmas... I don't volunteer like I normally do, I just hang back unless nobody picks up the work.

 

And... Christmas music.  All. Day. Long.  My Christmas Tree has singing lights.  And it is on All. Day. Long.  Over and over and over.  It drives visitors crazy, but for some reason, Christmas music just keeps me in that peaceful Christmas mood even if it's music from the tree that is playing over and over and over... It plays so much that my bird sings it...

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Are you getting enough sunlight? Less direct sunlight means less Vitamin D.

 

You could always try to take a vitamin D supplement, and a general multivitamin with vitamin B can sometimes help.

 

Remember to take a break and some time for yourself to relax?

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