Thursday 11 December 2014

"Happy Christmas?!"

19 Random Christmas Movie Quotes

Here we are with about two weeks to go until the 'happiest time of year' - Christmas. This year I am conflicted. In truth, I have been conflcited about Christmas for about the past ten years or so. I used to be one of those people who adored every single thing about the season. Not so much anymore.

As I have gotten older, my feelings towards the season have changed. There are plenty of reasons for this. As I have grown older I have seen that it's not an easy time for many people, some of those people being close family members. Although I love finding the perfect gift for someone, I have become tired of the excessive commercialism that is all around us. And I admit, I have fallen into the shopping trap time and again, partly because it has given me a temporary emotional lift. Unfortunately, the emphasis is on temporary - you don't feel so great when you see your credit card statement or bank balance afterwards.

The other big thing that has impacted me over the last decade or so has been depression. I have spent the better part of ten years in an almost constant state of depression. Sometimes mild, sometimes deep, it was always there. The thing with depression is that intellectually you realize that you should feel happy about something but emotionally and physically it is simply impossible. Sometimes you put on that mask and carry on as best as you can and sometimes you withdraw and let the darkness enfold you like a heavy cloak.

This year I am not in a severe depression - I thank my lucky stars for that gift every single day. But I am feeling a bit low and I think I can attribute that to the horrible weather and a very busy Autumn. So let's talk a bit about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It's a real thing but what does it look like?

* Feeling sad, grumpy, moody or anxious
* Losing interest in your usual activities
* Eating more and craving carbohydrates
* Gaining weight
* Lethargy, lacking in energy, unable to carry out a normal routine
* Sleeping more amd feeling drowsy during the daytime

I can definitely check a few things on that list and maybe you can too. As a person with a chronic illness, I have to be hyper-vigilant with my mental health. So what to do?

Light Box Therapy: These small boxes emit a light that is meant to mimic natural sunlight. They have proven to be very effective for those who suffer from SAD. They cost around $200 so they aren't inexpensive but check with your workplace benefits program (if you have one) - many plans cover part or all of the cost of a light box. If you can't afford a light box then try to sit by a window as often as you can.
Sleep: Get enough rest! It's such a hectic time of year and it can be challenging to get enough sleep but try to keep to a regular routine. Sleep is an essential element of overall physical and mental well being.
Eat Well: Boring, I know! However, you can't argue with the fact that eating well and ensuring that you drink enough water and get your vitamins is essential to wellness.
Get Outside: When the weather is not great and you are feeling down it can be so hard to motivate yourself to leave the house. I speak from experience when I say that even a quick walk around the block can do wonders for your mood. A walk in nature is even better!

Free Christmas Printables: Grinch Quote + 15 more! - Happiness is Homemade

Back to Christmas for a moment. Even though I seem to have The Grinch sitting on one shoulder and Buddy the Elf on the other, doing battle for my Christmas Spirit, I think I am going to try to shift things in favour of Buddy. How am I going to do that? I am going to focus on what I love about Christmas and eliminate all the rest. So that means that my gifts will mostly come from local craft fairs & artists. I will enjoy the Christmas lights that are adorning homes and businesses. And I will hug my niece and nephew, my baby brother, and my mom and dad. And I will give thanks to all those who have helped me on my journey to mental wellness over the past ten years.

Yes, maybe come Christmas I will be sharing Buddy the Elf's simple childlike joy in the season once again. After all, even The Grinch came around in the end.

KB xo


  1. Another great blog- thank you...I will be sharing this...

  2. Oh dear, my great first try at a comment got lost in cyberspace. Hmmm, I wonder if there are little green creatures out there that feed on typing so they must grab a comment once in awhile in order to stay alive? (A bit of silliness for the day)

    This is the first year in, well I am not sure how many years that I have put up a tree and I feel a bit Christmassy. Kids are a good way to get in the spirit. I went to a party with my nephews the other day and had a lovely time watching them have fun with my reindeer antlers with bells. My 2-year-old nephew is in a "poo" phase so he kept calling them reindeer poo and then laughing hysterically. Makes me smile just to remember it.

    There are tough things about Christmas to be sure and there are great things. Like you, I am trying to focus on the great things. We'll see how it goes.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.

    1. Kids are totally a great way to get into the spirit. Kids have a way of putting things into perspective. Thanks, Danielle!

  3. Stay strong, keep on, press on. Your invigoration is always within your capabilities, and the force that will propel that is within you. You just need to air it out, and to do that, you sometimes need more than a few bit of guidance to make your coping seem okay. Christmas is a time of birth, so that drive fits the season. Thanks for sharing that! All the best to you!

    Brandi Kennedy @ Restoration Counseling Boise

  4. Thank you for comments and kind words!


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