POST CHRISTMAS BLUES? HITCH A RIDE TO HAPPY WITH MY 5 TIPS
So it’s Christmas and you’ve eaten and drunk your way through the last few days or even weeks as Christmas season goes. Today it’s Boxing day and if you’re not going shopping to get some more endorphines, then you may be at home feeling a bit blue.
Why is it that some of us feeling down after Christmas? Perhaps you’re day didn’t go as well as you wanted, perhaps it did go well and you’re missing that a family member. Maybe now you are looking to 2017 with some fear or doubt about getting there, perhaps you have overspent at Christmas and feeling guilty or just worried about how to deal with it. I know people have lost loved ones and even today hearing about George Michael, I was reminded about the fragility of life.
Yes today I felt a bit blue. I contemplated this last 12 months of roller coaster rides and shut my eyes and sighed a long sigh that went down to my toes. My overthinking mind was stepping in big time and the overdose of sugar was fuelling the chronic negative talk inside, I caught myself and decided to take action to dissolve my blues away.
My toolkit built over many years works for me and I hope it will help you today get your ‘happy’ back.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
As I scrolled through social media, I watched the happy pics and family activities that was at first inspiring, then my mind started floating into ‘oh I didn’t take a family picture’ OR ‘they are having a better time that I did’ or ‘I don’t do things as well’ and I’m looking old etc …. the mind continued. I have however, learnt to limit my time on Facebook and Instagram as it becomes something that doesn’t serve me. I have to say, that working on people’s social media does helps me keep a healthy distance from that negative thinking.
Comparing yourself actually doesn’t help you in any form. It makes you feel alone, not good enough, a failure, insecure and inadequate. Sounds harsh, but if you think about it, what feeling do you get when you compare yourself? The classic negative self-talk is ‘What is wrong with me?’
If you have compared yourself with someone and you feel that you have done better than them or you are feeling superior in some way, then how does that serve you? Feeding the ego self that needs recognition is ultimately unhealthy because you will be always reliant on getting that ‘your okay’ from outside of yourself. YOU ARE UNIQUE. Your journey is unique, your body, your thoughts, your mind and your soul. HOW you live your life and express yourself is completely unique. HOW you become successful is different for everyone as SUCCESS is unique for each person and we have our own journey.
I often also look at everyone as equals as well, make them naked and see them and myself for all our beauty, vulnerability and equality.
Make Friends With Your Negativity
I know that sounds weird when we all want to get AWAY from that negative self-talk and horrible feelings, but the secret here is to make friends with them. In my spiritual practice I understand that we are made up of the shadow and light, our dark parts we run away from because there are either too scary, too painful or plain uncomfortable. When we push away the feelings we don’t like experiencing, we actually create depression, think about the word, you are pressing down your emotions that brings about a kind of fog. So make friends with it, make friends with jealousy, fear, anger, regret and whatever makes you feel ‘bad’. Say hello, feel and acknowledge them and respectfully ask them to go along with their life and keep walking. If you fight them and push them and lock them away, they will be always be active and looking to trigger you.
Accept Where You Are Right Now In Your Life
I am so guilty of this one, the grass is always greener over there and my drive has always been led by creating something ‘new’. Whether it’s because your a creative person or maybe because you just always wanting more (or both), my secret to happiness has come from acceptance.
I remember nearly 30 years ago, when I was unhappy being a production secretary on a film and wanted to be the production manager, my producer said to me ‘the key to success in any job is to be the BEST at whatever you are doing, then you will naturally have the success that will serve you’. This has served me for many years and yes I became the BEST production secretary and moved quickly to producing.
So now, you are in a relationship, a job, a life you are not happy with it – what can you do? Nothing today, it’s Boxing Day BUT what I do, is take care of what I need to do to meet my goals and then be with where I am. The line ‘is this as good as it gets’ is another favourite, perhaps yes? So how would you be if you had this life everyday, for the rest of your life? Would you fight it, live with it angrily or create your goals, let them go and be happy in the moment knowing you are doing all you can do right now. Choose your attitude right now!
We all know this, but I’m reminding you (and me) again that moving your body is the best way to keep those blues away. It releases hormones that make you feel good and you are actually showing your body and your mind that you care about yourself.
I love using the thought of stillness verse meditation, meditation always makes it feel like I have to ‘learn’ something new or be a certain type of person to practice it. Ultimately it’s stillness, the ability to be still and be okay with yourself while you are being still. Most people have a problem with the monkey mind stirring around and the constant list building up of things you need to do as you sit in stillness. It’s just like any exercise, you get better with practice. The mind is like a muscle, you can make it strong or weak, depending on how you treat it.
My experience with being still is that I’ve learnt to strengthen my mind and increase my ability to hear my intuitive thoughts that pop up when I least expect it. Interesting that in the days of Apollo and the God’s, people used to think that the thoughts in your heads were the Gods talking to you! We since have discovered self-reflection and intuition.
An Attitude of Gratitude
When people say be grateful for what you have and remember there are starving children, I often feeling like hitting them on the head saying ‘I know!!!! But it doesn’t help change the feeling I have inside me right now’. So that’s want I understand and what to give you my sixth and most important tip.
The last thing I want to do is list what I’m grateful for when I’m feeling blue, it feels counter intuitive but it’s works so well, because when you literally say out loud or write down what you are grateful for, the energy and thoughts in your mind shifts.
I start with ‘I’m grateful for my body, my breath, my family, the bed I sleep in, the friends I have (and list them), my experiences, my mind, my talents, my ability to be X old and still here..’ and on it goes. Change your attitude and the blues will float away like a fog revealing the beautiful scenery of life behind.
I hope these have helped and remember we are finishing a nine year, it is the death of a cycle with a one a week away. So it may get worse as we build up to January 1st, but if you are still feeling blue, be blue, do something you love, watch a favourite movie or have a bath and do the blues. THEN just keep going…