Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One sure-fire way to soften the holiday blues

I'll disclose the secret right at the very beginning, and then we'll talk about it, okay? Are you ready? Here it is!


Pretty simple. I know that many are afflicted with holiday depression. For some, it's a continuation of an issue that they struggle with all year. For others, something about the holiday season triggers a case of the blues that makes this time of year just awful for them. What's worse is hearing "get over it, it's just a holiday," or "quit bringing everyone down." Rule one around here is that your emotions are the only truth you've got, really, and if you're bummed out about the holidays, or because of the holidays, then you're bummed out. No one in the world has a right to tell you how to feel. No one.

That being said, if we had a dime for every "beat the holiday blues" article on the internet, we'd be able to buy Christmas and Hanukkah, and have enough money left over to get Festivus poles for the masses. So, you can go read those, too. My list has one item.


There is so much need out there. Think of what you've got to give, and then share some. Money? Even five dollars helps. Talent? Go entertain someone who can't go out to see entertainment elsewhere. Writing skills? Write letters. Time? Oh, goodness, do people ever need that. A few hours volunteering locally will repay you endlessly with a bounty of thanks and good will.

I think this holiday blues-beating, though, is kind of a two-step process now that I think about it a little more. First step is accepting - just being okay with the fact that the holidays are hard for you. You have your reasons, and they're good enough. You don't have to prove anything to anyone. If you hurt, you hurt. And then second step is to push yourself forward just a little, despite the difficulty, and give. If you really want to be ambitious, give every day. Make a list of things you can do to help, to encourage, to praise, to love. Giving takes so many forms.

Give. Without expectation of return. Give. With the knowledge that all love put into the world ends up somewhere. Give. Without need for thanks. You'll get them regardless.

Most of all, just give to see that you've got it in you. Because you do.

If you need some ideas for starters, here's a nice list from Uncle Internet to get you going.


  1. Thanks. I really needed to see this today. Like you have no idea how much.

  2. I'm so glad it helped. Pay it forward! :)