“The Blues” can be like those nasty sticker bushes you sometimes encounter when you're out taking a walk…they grab you and cling to you… and they hurt!
Holidays often play tricks on us…they should be happy times, and often they are, but “the blues” can creep in unexpectedly, especially if it's the first holiday after losing a loved one, if your children can't get home this year, if you're feeling afraid or alone or stressed. And then, of course, sometimes real, diagnosable depression can grip us like a wild animal and refuse to let go. If there's a chance the latter is going on, please seek help or at least talk to someone.
If it's just “the blues”, however, a conscious gratitude inventory can really help. Stop what you're doing, pull out a sheet of paper, and start writing down the things for which you're grateful. Anything, big and small…trivial and important. Sometimes you have to start with the little things to prime the pump for remembering other things. Sometimes you feel so blue that it's hard even to get started, but do it anyway. Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky gives us research-based support for link between Gratitude and Happiness[1. Lyubomirsky, Sonja. “Eight Ways that Gratitude Boosts Happiness.” http://www.gratefulness.org/readings/eight_boosts_gratitude.htm].
I'm honored to have my writing included in The Gratitude Book Project: Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude[2. Great gift! Order today: http://amzn.to/fbXLpN]. My entry called ” Fresh Starts and Connections” was selected for the March 1 entry. All national proceeds from the book will go to four great charities: ASPCA, FeedAmerica, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and Women for Women International.
Taking stock of your blessings is a great way to connect with yourself. When we realize that loved ones or acts of kindness to us are among those blessings, we strengthen our connection with others. Now, go one step further, and express your appreciation…to that person or God/Source.
My wish for each precious reader is that your holiday season and New Year will be filled with Gratitude and Blessings!