The Holiday Blues

However you refer to the blues, SAD (often used and often inappropriately use term), holiday overload, or that feeling of sadness, overwhelming dread, and depression, I want you to know first and foremost that you are not alone. I will not quote a statistic. I am in your shoes. I also dance or rather not dance with SAD, seasonal depression, the winter blahs, and Christmas or holiday overload.

You and I often feel overwhelmed. We want to be or expect to be merry and bright but are far from it. We are blue, down, sad, lethargic, and often come of as just plan grumpy.

The ancient Chinese texts speak of winter as a time of quiet, conservation of energy, and caution. But what do most of do or think we should be doing? Running around at all hours of the day to decorate our homes, our office cubicles, buying tons of food and gifts, and generally wearing ourselves down. If I boil do the directives of these Chinese texts to quietness and to conserve and cautiously use our energy, does this activity sound in line with the season of winter? NO!

I realize it is sometimes difficult to change long established patterns, especially when they are enforced by our elders (parents and older generations). Even small steps to stay in line with how we should be living in winter can pay off.

Yesterday I stood in a crowded and mostly happy atmoshere chocolate shop to buy some good chocolates for family and friends. Reaching out to those around me to talk about recipes or favored chocolates on sale takes little energy. It’s the little things like this that help me through this time of the year. That and keeping up with my own acupuncture treatments. I know this is a time of caution for me.

Learn to watch out for things that will trigger you into a spiral or doing more than you can. Accept invitations to just a few parties. People know that often multiple events are happening each available day. Or just spend a little time at one event and then head home with some good food and a warm beverage on the receiving end. Do not over-extend yourself. Gradually the ripple effect extends so that those around us are doing the same thing. People respect those who set boundaries for themselves and understand why. Boundaries are not mean. They are there to help us understand how much energy we can expend without short sheeting ourselves to the point of sickness.

And unlike other posts, although acupuncture can help, what I feel is the biggest help is the understanding imparted through my acupuncture education on the ancient Chinese texts focus on living appropriately in each season. Normally this sort of advice comes from someone like you or myself walking into my office for an acupuncture appointment. With the needles comes words and support from me to you regarding how to come back into alignment with the seasons. As my teachers say, words are needles. Words can treat. Words can also hurt and perhaps we experience more of that than the treatment aspect. So this blog post is a giant seasonally appropriate treatment for you my readers.

I will be posting more on how to live in winter appropriately. This is a brief post, a conservation of my own energy and a reaching out to say, “I’m there with you”.