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Beat The Holiday Blues - Or At Least Butter Them

How are the holidays going for you?  Do you feel depressed?  Did your family remind you more of a Tim Burton film than a warm fuzzy Disney flick?  Did eating butter drenched carbohydrates out of a birds ass lower your self esteem -- and expand your waistline?

Maybe you're feeling a bit blue after Thanksgiving because your family's Simon Cowell style criticism cut you like a carving knife.  Or, maybe you don't have a family you're currently speaking to - and your Thanksgiving dinner was the Denny's turkey plate at a table for one.

Whatever the reason for your holiday blues - there's hope.

I always feel a bit down this time of year.  I would look forward to Chanukah, if I could figure out when it is --- or how to spell it.  (Thank you, spell checker.)

Unless I make a holiday plan to raise my spirits - and my serotonin levels - they're both doomed to drop.

So here's my plan, and my commitment; I hope you'll join me:

If you're going to do something bad (alcohol, drugs, or huge quantities of s'mores) -- don't deny yourself.  Instead, earn it by doing something that you can be proud of.  For me, that's exercising.  I hate it, but it does make me feel good after, because I reward myself for doing it. 

(Meaning -- I'm jogging for a joint, and doing push ups for pastry.)

At the end of the day, we all need to look back and feel good about something we did.  So before you turn to your vices for comfort, do that "good" thing you can be proud of - whatever that is.

Perhaps for you it's making that one uncomfortable phone call you've been putting off, finally cleaning out that closet, or cooking healthy meals for a day.

Or, maybe it's something even more in the holiday spirit -- like volunteering to help someone, buying groceries for a friend who's unemployed, or even just using that spare quarter to feed somebody else's parking meter.

Tell me... what do you do that makes you feel good about yourself?  The idea you share might wind up being someone else's good deed for the holidays! Let me know on my blog here.


Dr. Audrey Levy said...

Walking my dog does it for me - I bring a book and read while she's sniffing. After all, it is HER walk, and if I'm reading, I'm not in a hurry, and don't ask her to hurry. When we get home, we both get a treat :)

BarryF said...

I'm such a lousy blog commenter - however, this one kicks ass, Judy. Love the voice - it sounds like the Judy I remember from the clubs a long time ago, and less like the speaker/teacher (who I've also enjoyed, just doesn't motivate comments!).


Laura Breaux said...

Donating blood always makes me feel better about my day but it's not something one can do frequently. I'm overdue for a donation now and your message just reminded me to get going and do it.

Anonymous said...

If you're going to a drive thru fast food joint for a meal, pay for the car behind you. It's great fun and it lifts your spirits. The complete anonimity of it is cool, too. You have no idea who it is, how many there are or what they ordered. And I always leave quickly so they don't have a chance to figure out who I am.

Heather Holmberg said...

I once when to a church service where the minister gave money to each of the congregants attending the service with the direction, "Give it to someone who needs it. Then, come back next week and tell us what happened. Nearly everyone who 'gave' ended up receiving some expected gift that week. It was a valuable lesson. I like to give money to the Red Cross whether there is a natural disaster or not.

Anonymous said...

Running is great, giving is also nice.
I just cleared out my bathroom cabinet. Lots of surplus soap, skin products and schampoo + hair conditioners, most of them not even opend was then brought little at the time to my gym. I put them at the hairdryer shelf with a note that they were free to take. They were gone when I came back from my work out!
I often leave books behind when I've finished them, just leaves them in a hotel bookshelf or in a cafe for the next person to find and read.

Anonymous said...

Just what I needed to hear. I am going to take your advice. Thank you Judy and Happy Holidays!

Alan Headbloom said...

I volunteer when my church hosts transitionally homeless families for dinners and overnights in our building. I hang out with the moms and/or the dads and their kids, just trying to give them a sense of normalcy. Sometimes we read to the little ones or do crafts. Sometimes we just watch TV together or engage in simple conversation. It's a great exercise in practicing non-judgmentalism, reminding myself there but for the grace of God go I. Last week, I got a dad and two teenage sons to help put up Christmas lights on the bushes in front of the church. Real, normal, engaged activity with a fellow human being.

For myself, I run Saturday mornings for an hour with a buddy, then spend another hour at breakfast gabbing about life. I hate (hate, hate) getting up at 6 AM on a weekend, but I'm always glad I did. The conversation is good, the endorphins are great, and my pants fit better during the week. My being in a better (natural drug-induced) mood makes me a kinder, more patient human being out in the world.

gr8hugr said...

Loved this Judy! I'll tell you it is those little things we do for ourselves that can make a significant difference in how we experience life. When I hit forty my metabolism slowed down and I packed on the pounds. At forty-eight I stooped down to retrieve something and struggled to get my fat butt UP. It was ALARMING! I intend to live a long and active life, so I started getting up early before work and walking. When it was cold outside I wanted to stay in bed. Then I read online how chocolate milk helps nourish your body before your workout, burns off belly fat and provides nutrients for one's body to recover. The first morning I shaved five minutes off my walk. Every morning I have a glass before my walk and I am like a giddy little school girl having chocolate milk - its like having dessert for breakfast! However, I have one rule - If I don't walk - no chocolate milk. I dropped nearly thirty-five pounds. I look great and I feel great!

I LOVE putting smiles on faces. On the weekends I sell at a local Outdoor Market. At my booth I have a sign that reads FREE HUGS. Some people wonder what that means and are often surprised its simply me sharing hugs. Many stop to get one because they're free. Almost everyone who reads the sign smiles. Many are grateful to share a hug. For others they really needed one. All I know is in that moment, with that little gesture, I have made a difference. I like to think of myself as a Joy Germ and yes... I am contagious! Sorry to have rambled here - but your words inspired me to share. Thank you Judy!

Jodi Weisberg said...

Wonderful advice and so well said! Thanks!!

DR. Bryant Crouse, Psychologist said...

Judy, Very nice, thoughtful piece to write!

Concrete Airhead said...

I shove a Cindy Crawford & radu workout DVD in. She's extremely long. Shes like " Down on your back, legs in the air and touch your toes." Uh.. ya right. As I cheat at my workout I feel great.

Anonymous said...

Judy, you are hysterical.

I like giving food to those that need it. Whenever I go into 7-Eleven, there are usually people standing around outside that need food so in addition to my soda that I get for myself, I pick up a a burrito or something and give it out.

One time, I went into 7-Eleven and caught an employee shoving loaves upon loaves of "expired" bread in the trash. I was appalled. If there were policies against handing it out outside then he could at least take it to a shelter. I asked if I could take it instead and pulled it out of the bin. I drove around and passed it out to people.

That's what makes me feel good.

Thanks for helping me remember that.

- Scarlet's owner

lisa j said...

I'm doing the elliptical and volunteering at The Seniors for a bottle of Cote du Rhone...

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