This is a simple framework to overcome festive blues and to get back to feeling in control over one’s life: –
After spending a wonderful holiday over the Christmas and New Year period some people feel post-Christmas Blues, defined as a mental distress occurring after holiday season.
The Year 2016 was a difficult year for many people. Some believe the planets play a role in it. Factually, the Rand weakened, people lost jobs and commodities rose in price. The political structure of SA was unstable and then added to that the influence of Brexit and Trump; these have all had an influence on us.
2017 does not look better, and the economic and political structure are still sliding.
In light of the above people are vulnerable and the Media create Christmas as a gigantic event not to be missed. Something you cannot live without. This leads to a two-fold reaction. Most people see it as a reason to release their stress with retail therapy, shopping and partying. There is also a group of people who become depressed because they don’t have money and therefore have a lack of the above.
January arrives and many people come back disappointed because the holiday did not live up to expectations and they have spent more money than they thought they would. Family members fought, the weather wasn’t ideal, and generally a sense of the expected euphoria was missing.
Back at home and after the banks have been taken care of, washing, cleaning, shopping (which can be difficult by one’s self), resume. On a makro scale it still looks bleak.
Now one has to start working on one’s self.
Instead of having all the new lasting New-Years’ Resolutions, just have one:
“to better yourself and your circumstances
in every aspect of your life”
This means acknowledge your feelings and take stock of what worked and what didn’t work last year. What can you do differently this year not to make the same mistakes of last year?
In human relations it can be to set aside differences by strategically confronting them by using the “I” word…. “I felt very left out when you did…..”. “I feel as if you are shouting at me all the time, although I know you might not mean it that way”.
Secondly, plan ahead for pleasant times like fun events or holidays.
Learn to say no even to yourself…. you want to see a movie but you have to work, say ‘no’ to yourself according to
Learn to say no even to yourself…. you want to see a movie but you have to work, say ‘no’ to yourself according to importance of the work. It means live authentically, be true to your values. Ask yourself “is my true the truth or am I rationalising”.
Look at yourself and also realise it is ok to feel down.
No one can always live on cloud nine, it would become boring.
In the book “the book of Joy by The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu” it mentions the neuro-imaging research into a unified theory of the happy brain. There are four independent brain circuits that influence our long-lasting well-being. The first is our ability to maintain positive states. The ability to maintain positive states and positive emotions already impact on one’s ability to experience happiness.
The second circuit is responsible for our ability to recover from negative states. It is important to remember these circuits are totally independent. One could be good at maintaining positive states but easily fall into a negative state from which one had a hard time recovering.
The third circuit is also independent but essential to the others “our ability to focus and avoid mind wandering”. This of course is the circuit that so much of meditation exists to develop.
The fourth and final circuit is ability to be generous. It is amazing that one has an entire circuit for developing generosity. It is no wonder then that our brains feel good when we help others or are helped by others.
Many of us need to learn to accept help. There is a strong and compelling research that we come factory equipped for co-operation, compassion, and generosity.
Remember we are responsible for our own lives. God created us with the capability but it is in us to develop and use it.
In the book of ‘ask and it is given’ by Hicks, it explains in full we have a great say in our own wellbeing than what most people acknowledge. Meditation and talking to one’s self has a mega effect once you start to do it, you will notice the difference.
One of the most important aspects of beating the blues is taking control of your budget and finances. Be aware of the sales and bargains. Ask yourself ‘do you need it or do you want it?’ Of most importance is can you afford it? Look at your financial list of responsibilities then summarize a priority list. If necessary go and get financial advice and help to consolidate your debt.
Most importantly you must stay within your budget and if possible have a section for holiday money.
Self-discipline and the ability to follow through and keep going are the outstanding characteristics to make 2017 a better year for you. Be gentle but firm, keep your word, and fulfil your promises!