Tips and Fun on dealing with the stress of the holiday blues.
(Permission provided to use "Holiday Blues" graphic above from Inspiration Line)
Coping With The Holiday Blues
Thanksgiving and the beginning of “The Holidays” is upon us. I can't help but recall some cherished moments but also some difficult ones like I'm sure everyone has experienced at one time or another.
How can I forget that first Christmas Maria and I shared after getting married in 1983 when we came home to New Orleans to spend time with our families. On Christmas morning when I read the Times-Picayune, I was so saddened to read on the front page about a childhood neighborhood friend, Drew, who unfortunately had died from hypothermia with a friend of his who had gotten trapped in by a unexpected freeze on their duck hunting venture on Christmas Eve.
Professionally, it is good to help individuals prepare for the onslaught and maybe flashback to difficult memories of the past related to The Holidays. With all of the anticipation and high expectations that we can have per the over commercialization of the holidays and the longing that we all have for peace and stability in our lives, it helps to be grounded in reality – and not in “De-Nial,” as Jan, one of my social work colleagues noted, is not a river in Egypt!
Recently, I was able to present to a group of individuals, including professionals, who help facilitate Alzheimer Support Groups, re: Coping With The Holidays. In the course of our group sharing, we coined the term "TUNE IN / TONE DOWN" to embody what can help all of us, including caregivers and especially the impaired, to more practically deal with what can be very stressful moments in the holiday season.
At the meeting, I shared a light heartened “blues” song that I'd written to help clinicians and caregivers deal with the Holiday Blues.
The song is simple using "E - A - B" chords (if you can play some version of those chords, you can play almost any song - especially Christmas sing-a-longs!) and to the tune of one of my singalongs, "The Selsun Blues:" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhzgU_ld_FI:
*I've got the Holiday, I've got the Holiday Blues
I've got the Holiday, I've got the Holiday Blues
It makes me sad, but there's some things that I can do
I lost my spouse, s/he even cheated on me too, I still feel so hopeless, I don't know what to do *
Nobody ever calls me, they don't invite me too, I feel so all alone, has this ever happened to you? *
Things just don't seem to matter, the way that they used to, Can I go on? I've got the Christmas blues! *
But maybe there's some options, that can help to get me through, I really won't give up, no matter what psychiatrists & social workers say and do *
Okay - I'll finally attend a support group, and yes even take psychotropics too, I'll even start to set some boundaries, and not say “Happy Holidays” to you *
I'm starting to practice the Serenity Prayer, and learning I'm not perfect for true , I'll take each moment as it comes, and humbly take each step with you *
So join me in humanity, the strengths and weaknesses too, we may be fragile and broken, but can go on by singing the Holiday Blues *
So may we all give thanksgiving to God for all of His Blessings and be sure to take care of ourselves – including safeguarding against stressing out during the holidays. Singing the holiday blues can lighten our load and allow humor to break down the walls that can sometimes separate us.