Saturday, April 30, 2011

Are The Holiday Blues Troubling You, Bunky?

Originally Written in the early 2000s - Last Posted on November 26, 2005

The blues.  I’m not talking about the Blues that Buddy Guy and B.B. King wail from their guitars. Nor am I talking about the House of Blues in Chicago.  And, for all you hockey pucks, I’m not talking about the St. Louis Blues either.

During this time of year, a vast majority of us will suffer that terrible ailment that wreaks havoc on our daily lives: the Holiday Blues.  For those of you who may not be aware, the Holiday Blues is temporary form of depression that is caused by environmental and social conditions. These environmental conditions are induced by the sightings of Christmas decorations, large numbers of families gathering in a particular location, overtly positive behavior by people in your community and a downward change of the temperature.

Potential sufferers of this ailment usually live alone or with cohabitors who are from other cultural and social groups.  The Holiday Blues hits those who relationships with their birth families are strained by either distance between the sufferer and the main core of the family or by a negative relationship of that family.

The symptoms are very easily spotted.  Depression. Loneliness. Sadness. Classic symptoms though not chemically induced.

In layman’s terms, the Holiday Blues suck! Yes, it’s getting cold out there.  Cold and lonely.  And, yes, folks, it is curable!  And, I’m not suggesting taking Prozac or Zoloft!

The cure is rather simple: connect with other human beings!  It’s that simple and quite doable.

The first thing people think about is just picking up the phone and calling someone.  Not so fast, sport!  If one can reach out and touch someone in person, whether it is going across town, driving a few hours or taking some sort of conveyance somewhere, then do it.  Either you or a very good friend of yours should get together for at least coffee.  All you two have to do is talk, share issues and cry on each other’s shoulders.  Also, be a friend and listen, empathize and give a nice, warm hug.  It’s that simple.

The only time one would consider picking up a phone is if you and your friend are almost a day’s drive away and beyond.  Considering you can get phone cards rather inenexpensively  and various wireless and VOIP companies offer free long distance, reaching out and touching someone in, say, New York or Seattle is not out of the question.

Human connectivity is the best cure for those Holiday Blues.  So are Holiday Cards.  Small gifts.  Even, gift cards and gift certificates.  Perhaps, a gift certificate for Amtrak and one of the airlines work, too.  Simply, a small token of appreciation to someone that you truly care, without setting off the “clingy” alarm.

One thing I must advise anyone from doing is to use alcohol to cure this disease.  Alcohol can only numb the pain enough to land you in the drunk tank overnight with, at the most, a DUI on your record.

Don’t let the Holiday Blues get the best of you this year.  If they do, and if all else fails, it’s time to buy a Fender American Standard Stratocaster and learn to a few blues progressions.

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